5 facebook support groups for small businesses during the coronavirus crisis

With so much information out there, using social media is a valuable way for small businesses to get the help they need.

7 May 2020

Many social media groups have cropped up during the pandemic to provide business owners with a place to seek advice, get relevant information and find comfort from those who are battling through the same challenges as them. But with so many small business communities out there, it can be tricky to know where to start. To help, we’ve found the 5 best facebook groups for small businesses to get support and learn more about various government schemes

What small business owners think about social media and their competition

iwoca carried out a survey pre-coronavirus with over 820 small business owners to look at their interaction with neighbouring businesses and the part social media had to play.

Results showed more value in connecting through social media (15%) than through calls (12%) or membership organisations (8%)

  • When we asked business owners what they thought were the best ways to connect with other businesses, social media ranked third.
  • The top answers were “attending networking events” (26%) and ‘introducing yourself personally’ (25%) - with lockdown making these two methods almost impossible, social media could be the best platform for businesses to connect during coronavirus.

Nearly three quarters (70%) of business owners said neighbouring businesses had helped them out at some point in the past

  • Whether it’s through referrals, sharing experiences or passing on work, there are many useful ways that businesses can support each other.

Nearly half (48%) 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

5 facebook groups for businesses during the coronavirus crisis

In 2018, over 80% of businesses were using social media (up from 60% in 2012). With 90 million small businesses using facebook, we’ve identified the best facebook groups for business owners to join to help them get through the crisis (ordered by size):

1. Support for UK Startups

GROUP: Start Up Business Help and Advice UK Public Group (Private)

MEMBERS: Over 10.4k

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

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: Full 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 (i.e marketers/ lawyers); some are asking questions around their start-ups or ideas and receiving specific advice and offers of help from the community.

2. Support for all business owners

GROUP: Coronavirus Business Support Group UK Public Group (Private)

MEMBERS: Over 4.5K

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

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: Members are hosting zoom events to share useful information on their areas of expertise based on questions asked. Accountants are offering help (especially on 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 want to use each other’s services!

Coronavirus updates for SMEs

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3. Support for small business owners or the self-employed

GROUP: British Small Businesses Network (Public)

MEMBERS: Over 4.3k

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

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: Members are sharing lots of stories and advice around accessing government schemes - people are even offering help with applying to them.

4. Support for small business owners

GROUP: Small Business Support Group UK - Coronavirus Outbreak (Private)

MEMBERS: Over 1.8K

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

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: Small business members are sharing what they’re doing and discounts they’re offering during the crisis.

5. Support for the self employed and freelancers

GROUP: Self Employed and Coronavirus - UK Support Group (Public)

MEMBERS: Over 250

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

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN: The self employed are sharing their stories and giving advice on the support that is available- journalists are also in this group offering to speak to members to raise awareness of issues.

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Charlotte is a PR specialist at iwoca. She previously worked as a senior account manager, helping our customer access and utilise iwoca funding for their businesses.

Article updated on: 7 May 2020

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Coronavirus updates for SMEs

Our coronavirus bulletin covers all the key developments and delivers a digested summary straight to your inbox. We’ll send these out whenever there are key updates we think will help your business.