Facebook groups can provide invaluable guidance during the coronavirus pandemic

Facebook groups can provide invaluable guidance during the coronavirus pandemic

SME owners are looking for support through social media sites like Facebook rather than by picking up the phone or joining a business network.

These social media support groups are helping business owners who are struggling to reach organisations on jammed helplines. Plus, they’re a great source of comfort to those who are having a tough time since many businesses were forced to close due to COVID-19.

It’s not a recent trend, either. Iwoca surveyed over 820 business owners pre-coronavirus, looking at their use of social media.

When asked about the best ways to connect with other businesses, respondents preferred social media over phone calls. Some 15 per cent of respondents chose it as the best method, coming third behind introducing themselves personally (25 per cent) and networking (26 per cent). As lockdown has made both of these options near enough impossible, social media support has been a blessing for entrepreneurs.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of business owners with both an online and physical presence said the feeling of being in a community of businesses had improved since they started trading.

>See also: How to get your small business online within an hour

The top five Facebook groups for businesses during coronavirus

Iwoca’s figures show that 90pc of small business owners use Facebook and they’ve identified five of the best groups for support.

Start Up Business Help and Advice UK Public Group

SIZE: 10.4k members (private)

WHO SHOULD JOIN: Owners of UK start-ups.

WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE: A forum for people to ask questions and share help, advice and similar experiences.

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: It has lots of useful advice shared from other people in the community: some people are posting things they’ve created and receiving feedback; some are getting directed to contacts to do specific things they need for their business (such as marketers and lawyers); some are asking questions around their start-ups or ideas and receiving specific advice and offers of help from the community.

Coronavirus Business Support Group UK Public Group

SIZE: 4.5K members (private)

WHO SHOULD JOIN: Any business owners looking for support and positivity during the crisis.

WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE: A community where business owners can help other business owners and offer kindness and support.

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: This group has held Zoom events for people to share useful information on their areas of expertise based on questions members are asking. Accountants are offering help and advice (including around applications to government schemes). The admins are currently putting together a business directory for members so it’s easy for people to get in touch if they wish to use each other’s services.

British Small Businesses Network

SIZE: 4.3k members (public)

WHO SHOULD JOIN: Small business owners or the self-employed.

WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE: Support within a community (this group was created pre-crisis).

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: It has lots of stories and advice being shared around accessing the government schemes including people offering help with applying to them.

Small Business Support Group UK – Coronavirus Outbreak

 SIZE: 1.8K members (private)

WHO SHOULD JOIN: Small business owners or those who wants to support small businesses.

WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE: Help, advice and support for small businesses through these uncertain times. 

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: Lots of small businesses sharing what they are doing and discounts they are offering during the crisis.

Self Employed and Coronavirus – UK Support Group

SIZE: 250 members (public)

WHO SHOULD JOIN: Any self-employed people or freelancers.

WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE: Share tips and news on how to survive as a self-employed person during the crisis.

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: It’s a place for the self-employed to share stories and get advice on what is available for them. Journalists are in this group as well – they’re offering to speak to people to raise awareness of issues.

Read more

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