MOORESVILLE – Facebook today co-hosts a webinar to support Mooresville’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, and that’s because of how proactive the Mooresville Chamber of Commerce was in supporting businesses during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chamber’s extensive support included its social media accounts, advertising and content-publishing on the tech giant’s social platform.

“When COVID hit a year ago, we thought that people were going to want and need to know who was open for curbside pickup, what hours were,” said Kirk Ballard, the CEO of the Mooresville South Iredell Chamber of Commerce.   “We’re a conduit of information, and this is what we do, and what Chambers do.”

Ballard and his team ramped up their efforts to promote the content of local businesses, and in the last year ran more than 7,000 ads to boost visibility for the region’s businesses, whether a Chamber member organization or not.  “It was 25-30 a day, every day, it’s about being consistent, to help our businesses survive and thrive,” Ballard said.

Ballard also took to counseling businesses across the region—which he described as 80,000 people strong, though 70,000 current residents were born in a different state—on what he said were obvious, required, and important updates to information available on Facebook and other social media platforms.

“These are visual mediums, and people respond visually,” said Ballard, recounting advice he gave to business owners.  “If you put photos, you get 10 times as many hits, if you put video, you get 100 times as many hits, because it’s easy, and people want to look at it and figure it out right away.”

The 2021 Boost with Facebook tour is coming—virtually—to Mooresville, which sits just north of Charlotte.  The free event, which occurs today at 10 a.m., seeks to provide business owners and managers additional actionable tips on leveraging digital marketing platforms to grow businesses.

“During COVID-19, our focus has been to help small businesses recover from disruptions they’ve faced,” said Diana Doukas, policy programs manager at Facebook in an interview. “Through this program we want to equip businesses across the US with the digital skills they need to compete in the new economy.”

Facebook believes that personalized ads have never been more important than they are right now, said Doukas. She cited a report the firm published on the state of small businesses in May 2020 that showed that women-owned businesses and small businesses located in traditionally underserved communities were disproportionately impacted by lower sales during the early months of the pandemic and higher closure rates, during and before the pandemic.

“We try to tell the story of this community, and our businesses here,” said Ballard.  “There are platforms available for businesses that they can use that are really inexpensive and very effective, and especially during this economic time, that’s what businesses are looking for, things that have a positive impact that they can do quickly.”