Businesses Concern Over Proposed Facebook Ban

Members of the business community have shared their concerns with SICCI yesterday while others opposed the decision to temporarily ban Facebook.

Struggling businesses have expressed concerns over Government’s proposal to temporarily ban the world’s biggest social networking site ‘Facebook’ in Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), as the peak body representing private sector in Solomon Islands, is particularly concerned with the negative impacts this decision will have on our small micro businesses, entrepreneurs and those in the informal sector who depend on social media, especially facebook for marketing and advertising.

“It is the Government’s prerogative to make such a decision, but as a Chamber we believe that there are other pressing issues that requires our collective focus,” SICCI Board Chairman, Jay Bartlett, said.

Members of the business community have shared their concerns with SICCI yesterday while others opposed the decision to temporarily ban facebook.

Paula ter Brake, Managing Director of Tower Insurance Pacific said facebook is the most widely used social media platform in the Pacific Islands and is an important communication tool relied upon by individuals, businesses and communities.

“Tower uses Facebook to engage with customers and their communities regarding a variety of matters, most importantly those relating to the preparation for and response to severe weather events.

“The most engagement Tower has on Facebook is relating to claims processing following major events, as such, Tower strongly opposes any proposal to ban facebook usage in the Solomon Islands,” Brake said.

70% of SICCI’s membership is made up of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), one of them is SAMEDIA Limited and Director, Ms Gloria Hong said for small businesses interacting with consumers on social media is an important marketing strategy.

“Using social media helps us to build brand awareness, increase our customer base, and connect with customers.

“In my view, banning facebook is a threat to businesses, especially the small businesses who cannot afford to run advertisements on radio, newspapers and on TV,” Ms Hong said.

Tongs Corporation have invested a lot of time and effort to launch and grow their facebook presence as a mode of communication with their customers.

Their Sales and Marketing Manager, John Wopereis said Facebook has been an effective tool in building relationships with the wider community to grow product knowledge and showcase the inspiring stories of builders, contractors, and homeowners.

“In terms of our planning for 2021 onwards, it’s important for us to be clear on what to expect as we have outlined Facebook as a key marketing tool and have content lined up ready to go. We need to know what’s happening so we can be clear on where to invest our time and effort,” Mr Wopereis said.

Like the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Tourism will again be the sector most affect by…

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