GROW Members Learn Social Media Tips At FREE Training
Many GROW Nebraska members improved their social media marketing skills and received free Facebook ads through a recent free GROW training.
Digital Promise selected GROW Nebraska as one of 36 organizations across the country to receive a training grant to improve digital literacy among job seekers, professionals, small business owners and entrepreneurs. Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization selected by Facebook to help close the digital skills gap.
GROW Nebraska’s goal was to educate 100 people with the $10,000 grant. GROW offered the training in the spring of 2019 at an in-person session at GROW’s new Innovation Center in Kearney. Later, a self-paced online training option was offered. The trainings focused on social media marketing using Facebook and Instagram. Attendees earned Facebook ad credits and could also earn Facebook certifications by completing the program.
The training program fit perfectly with GROW Nebraska’s mission to help entrepreneurs obtain the resources they need to live anywhere in Nebraska and make a sustainable living and to be the premier educational non-profit that empowers entrepreneurs through business training, technical assistance, promotion and market opportunities.
Cammie Kroll, IT and Development Director at GROW Nebraska, said the training was a great opportunity for GROW and its members.
“We were really excited to be chosen to lead this training,” Cammie said. “We saw it as a great opportunity for our members and to teach business owners how to best market to increase interaction and engagement with customers.”
The response to the training was positive as more than 100 participants, including both GROW members and non-members, participated.
Noah Young, sales and marketing representative of Green Cover Seed in Bladen, enrolled in the course to become a better marketer for the cover-crop seed company.
“We supply cover crop seed all over the United States, and much of our sales come from an online tool we developed,” Noah said. “We are only 11 years old as a business, so a large portion of our marketing strategy is to raise brand awareness and recognition.”
Noah said his company already had an existing Facebook page prior to the training, but he learned new “tricks and tools” to optimize the company’s page.
“I have integrated several of the things I have learned, such as ad insights, creating target markets for Facebook ads, and even a few things I updated on our website,” Noah said.
Participants received a $25 Facebook ad credit, which Noah used to create a video ad to increase engagement on the company’s page.
“With this ad, we were able to find out where the video was being played and who was watching it,” he said. “The results were surprising and not expected so we ran another ad that was targeted toward a clone audience more defined than the first and received an even better response from that. We would not have known any of these valuable insights had I not completed the course to learn how to best set up Facebook ads. “
Craig Hamre, marketing manager for Kracklin’ Kirk’s Fireworks, said the training was “very beneficial” for him.
Kracklin’ Kirk’s is a fireworks retailer, wholesaler and importer headquartered in Nebraska. The company operates seasonal retail locations in Waterloo, Springfield, Denton, Hickman, Doniphan and Dakota City.
“The most beneficial aspect of the training was in seeing what other businesses were doing to grow the effectiveness of their social media marketing efforts,” Craig said.
After the training, Craig said they started using Facebook stories and linked their other location pages. They also started successfully asking customers to write five-star reviews of their business on their Facebook page.
The training was instructed by GROW Nebraska staff and training partner Heather Nelson, who created the training materials from the Digital Promise curriculum.
Cammie said that even the GROW staff benefited from the training.
“It was really fun to see the creativity and to help our members generate ideas of what they can do in the future,” Cammie said.
GROW Nebraska offers monthly trainings on a variety of subjects. It is possible the Digital Promise Facebook training could be offered again the in future. To learn more about GROW Nebraska trainings, visit https://grownebraska.org/upcoming-trainings/