The Facebook Summit Malaysia 2020, went virtual for the first time this year. The session facilitated conversations between global leaders in marketing, spotlighting ideas on the future of marketing and how companies are using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to better engage and serve their communities.
The summit kicked off with an opening address by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and Benjamin Joe, Vice President for Southeast Asia and Emerging Markets of Facebook. With Southeast Asia projected to reach 140 million new consumers by 2030, they shared Facebook’s role in helping the society and businesses through these challenging times, and their support amidst a new normal.
A keynote session titled ‘Forward Together’, by Nicole Tan, Country Director of Facebook Malaysia, highlighted its commitment to help fast forward the country’s digital transformation by helping Malaysian businesses grow both at home and abroad, as well as supporting community building efforts.
Nicole shared on Facebook’s commitment in being a critical partner to help businesses of all sizes adapt for the digital future through upskilling. “As we continue to navigate through the ‘next normal’, acceleration in digital upskilling is key. Through education, insights and digital tools, local businesses are empowered to navigate, recover, and grow out of the pandemic,” she explained.
Facebook Malaysia has been partnering closely with Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) through their e-Usahawan program to empower small businesses with e-commerce and entrepreneurship skills by leveraging Facebook tools to thrive in the digital world. At the Summit, Jiro Nagata, Regional Head of Business Education Training APAC of Facebook, shared how Facebook Blueprint, its flagship digital marketing curriculum and certification program is being implemented through a train-the-trainer model. Through this Trainer Network, a hundred digital marketing trainers from MDEC will be supported to become a Facebook Certified Trainer, which will empower them to develop digital marketing expertise among local SMBs. En. Mohsin Mokhtar, owner of Chacky’s Confectionary an F&B business from Bentong, Pahang, shared how the Facebook Blueprint program has equipped him with the knowledge to connect with new customers through Facebook ads. Despite the unique challenges of 2020, he has been able to increase revenues by 40% and is now hiring new staff to support the company’s further growth.
Nicole also shared that with the pandemic and the new normal, more people are now relying on Facebook as a place for togetherness. In fact, more than 20 million people living in Malaysia are part of over eight million Facebook groups active in the past month. An example of people turning to Facebook to create social good is the Malaysian Quarantine Centre Support Group, which saw the community coming together to guide and support each other through an unprecedented time, connecting with each other as they maneuver through a unique shared experience.
As people are relying on Facebook to remain connected, it is important to create a safe, informed, inclusive and respectful community on Facebook. In view of that, Facebook Malaysia recently launched We Think Digital, an online and offline digital literacy program to equip youths with digital skills on how to engage online safely, and with confidence. This launch follows the successful pilot programme in partnership with Teach For Malaysia, where 950 students from across six different schools nationwide have been trained virtually to date, and 2,500 students across the country by April, 2021.
The Summit also featured Alex Fenby, News Partnership Lead for South East Asia at Facebook, where he spoke about Facebook’s commitment in supporting quality journalism and news organizations as they adapt from legacy newspapers, broadcast, to emerging publications in the changing digital world. He detailed how Facebook supports publishers to build sustainable businesses – from helping them build and grow their audience through free distribution, as well through using Facebook’s free products to help monetize their content. He also detailed how Facebook has supported Malaysian publishers through training and programs that help with their digital transformation.
An on-demand video recording of the summit will be available for public viewing from 11 November to 9 December at https://forwardtogether.fb.com/.