Julie Walton Garland (front row, sixth from the right) pictured with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg (to Julie’s left) and other members of the Small Business Council. // SUBMITTED PHOTO
DOWNTOWN FRANKLIN ASSOCIATION
Julie Walton Garland of Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry in downtown Franklin recently returned home after meeting Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and others from the social media company while attending a meeting of Facebook’s 2017 U.S. Small Business Council.
The council consists of 11 small businesses from all over the country with the goal to provide constructive feedback on new Facebook products and small business solutions. Through the program, Julie had the opportunity to spend a few days at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters to learn about the program.
This is Facebook’s fourth Small Business Council; the program first launched in 2014. Facebook has since created small business councils in India, Brazil and Germany—and plans to announce councils in more countries later this year.
While participating in Facebook’s Boost Your Business panel held last year in Nashville, Garland connected with the company’s small business experts, who provided tips and tricks on Facebook’s best practices and strategies for success. A year later, the company sought her out again due to her business’ activities and advertising success on Facebook. After a series of interviews, the social media platform (which boasts five million business advertisers) selected her for their Small Business Council.
As a part of the program, each small business owner met with creative teams, who provided feedback on their business’ current advertising strategies and offered feedback and advice.
“Definitely download the Facebook Business Manager app,” Garland said. “It will give you insight into how your advertisements are doing. Also, Facebook’s help center is really helpful. They really want to help small businesses grow.”
The experts also stressed the importance of integrating video into marketing and advertising efforts.
“We learned that social media is really going in the direction of video. There are a lot of cool apps you can use, like Videoshop, to create really high-quality videos for your business.”
Julie was inspired to launch a new social media campaign for Walton’s, titled “Love Stories.” The campaign features three different Walton’s couples and is specifically targeted on Facebook to people interested in weddings and who follow certain bridal outlets.
Julie is a huge proponent for using social media to promote small businesses like hers.
“Social media helps make the world a smaller place and connects people who may have not been connected before. There are a lot of people who want to connect and shop with Walton’s who don’t live in the area. Social media helps us make connections, while keeping that small business feel.”
Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry is launching their first online store on Thursday, April 20. The store will ship anywhere in the U.S.