Diamond Bank in partnership with Facebook has commenced the first phase of targeted training for small and medium-scale enterprises (SME) owners to enhance their businesses through online marketing platforms.
The training exercise, which commenced in Calabar, Cross River State on 30 August 2018, with over 120 SME owners in attendance, is aimed at scaling up the skills of small businesses to cater to millions of Facebook users in Nigeria and beyond.
Nkem Okoro, head, regional businesses, south, Diamond Bank Plc., told newsmen that the training is in collaboration with SheLeads Africa, a representative of Facebook.
“As one of the fastest growing retail banks in the country, Diamond Bank is always at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive SME businesses. The idea behind the training is to give our SME customers an opportunity to merge their personal and business Facebook accounts,” Okoro stated.
Speaking on the significance of the training, Okoro said: “There are over two billion people on Facebook and with that, our customers will be able to showcase their products to this large population as well as get leads that will take their businesses forward.”
Explaining that the bank has over 120 SME customers that are participating in the event she said, the bank intends to actualise its promise to provide the financial and non-financial services.
“We provide such non-financial services knowing that when our customers succeed it will trickle down to us,” commented Okoro.
Ayodele Olojede, the bank’s head of emerging businesses, said Diamond Bank recognised that access to market was a limiting factor in doing business.
“We also recognise the contributing factor of women in the growth of GDP. It is therefore important to continue to support them to scale up and improve their productivity. What we are doing today is to teach them how to create and monetise their online visibility.
Just by being on Facebook, you can increase your sales by over 33 percent and a lot of women are not aware of this. Facebook is already a market for 26 million Nigerians and yet business owners are unaware. That is the reason for this training- to support businesses to grow. This is one of the first series across the country and we are planning to reach between 10, 000 and 20, 000 customers nationwide,” Olojede said.
One of the participants, Ruth Ntekim, owner of a luxury perfume store in Calabar, said, “I have learnt how to market products online by locating my audience and giving them direct information. Sometimes when you go on Facebook, you do not give the specific details to be able to attract the required audience, I have learnt how to restructure and how to create the right profile.”
Peace Ogar, a pastor and businesswoman, said she runs a boutique in Calabar, which has a presence online.
“I am here to learn and of course you can’t get tired of learning. There is no knowledge that is useless, so I am here to learn. I have learnt how to give my business social media presence, and how to reach out to my audience, how to create content for my business, and have a target audience. To be honest with you, I have been on Facebook just posting pictures, relating with people, and I have never thought of how to reach out to people businesswise. But today I have learnt how to reach out to people businesswise, how to use insight, and how to get people to relate to you. Today, I have learnt that you can reach out to people, and then get feedback from them,” Ogar said.