Facebook to train regional business owners

Malcolm Turnbull has met with Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg in Vietnam at APEC. (AAP)

Facebook staff will soon teach thousands of regional Australian businesses how to harness online marketing.

Thousands of small business owners across regional Australia will soon receive marketing training from Facebook staff.

The social media giant announced the initiative on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday.

The program will be rolled out across Mackay in North Queensland next year before being expanded to additional towns, with 3000 businesses in Facebook's sights.

"We're really excited at the possibilities of what that can mean for job creation," Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said in Da Nang.

Ms Sandberg made the announcement during a dialogue with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on building communities through technology.

The pair also spoke about the importance of gender equality and encouraging more women into technology studies.

"Even as women's education has increased the number of women studying computer science has decreased in almost every market in the world," Ms Sandberg said.

"Closing that gap is actually incredibly important, not just for those individuals, but for our economies and for our communities."

The problem also extended to encouraging women into leadership roles.

Ms Sanberg said rather than calling girls "bossy" they should be praised for demonstrating "executive leadership skills".

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