How small businesses can embrace the “Metaverse”

As someone who owns a small business, and works with other women-owned small businesses, I can understand some of the apprehension about Facebook’s rebrand to Meta.

Much of the criticism over Facebook is fair and reasonable. Meta and the wider tech world have a way to go to repair the damage caused by its ethically questionable approaches – let alone its own reputation.

But we’re here to chat about the other side of the coin – why this presents an incredible opportunity for small-business owners, and your end-users, and how you can embrace this evolving world for the overwhelming better.

What it really means… 

The Facebook to Meta transition means innovation is about to happen. What the “metaverse” will look and feel like is something set to always evolve.

But from initial reports, we can expect 3D virtual rooms, shared virtual experiences with loved ones across the world, concerts, virtual workrooms for collaboration, shopping, VR gaming and fitness (the options are endless)!

Where there’s change, there’s opportunity

With growing amounts of small businesses using Instagram and Facebook particularly to generate brand awareness and sales, it’s reassuring to know these platforms will remain as the apps we all know and love.

At Cali Social, we run Facebook ads for so many great businesses with differing budgets, so I find comfort in knowing their campaigns won’t be heavily affected by the re-brand. If anything, I think this could be an interesting avenue most businesses will be able to add to their growing online presence.

And remember, as Benjamin Franklin said, “when you’re finished changing, you’re finished”. So, use this as an opportunity to evolve and stay ahead of the rest.

For retail, the opportunities are endless

Not only will consumers be able to enter virtual spaces, but we’ll be able to walk through these spaces in our favourite custom clothes or now referred to as ‘digital skins’.

But more than looking snazzy, there is a real potential for small businesses to facilitate a new ‘e-commerce’ and shopping experience.

Get “real” with those you’ve never met before

Personally, as an owner of an ads agency, I’m particularly excited to have collaborative meetings through Meta’s Horizon Workrooms so we can hire and connect with the best minds across the globe, which is beneficial for small businesses wanting to expand.

So what will the future look like? 

Spark AR is an incredible piece of software in the Meta family allowing users to create AR experiences.

While anything is possible, I can imagine the VR headset would integrate ads in between experiences, so they’ll be opportunities for small businesses with smaller budgets to adopt without having to make AR elements of their own.

What now? Four steps for small businesses to be “Metaverse” ready 

It’s time to follow these four steps:

  • Training – embrace as many training programs offered by Meta or Facebook for you and your business. There are loads of free ones available, via Facebook’s free online learning platform, Facebook Blueprint.
  • Investments – start investing in AR technology online and in-store, training, or looking to hire the right experts in this space. Spark AR has some great training and information for beginners.
  • Regulations – make sure your policies and procedures are set up to protect the privacy and rights of your consumers, staff, and community.
  • Stay open-minded. With any new development comes opportunity – so get ready to embrace the Metaverse with the right passion and excitement!

Author: Lauren Swidenbank is the founder of Cali Social, a leading paid-advertising agency for female-focused brands. Lauren and her team have been recognised as a qualified Google and Facebook Partner.

This article was first published on Inside Small Business, a sibling publication to Inside Franchise Business Executive.