American Express OPEN and Facebook have joined forces to help certain small businesses get the start they need. The second annual national "Big Break for Small Business" contest will provide a winning business with the tools they need to start connecting and engaging with their consumers online.
"American Express OPEN is dedicated to helping small businesses do more business," said Laura Fink of American Express OPEN. "This year's Big Break is about celebrating small business owners as hometown heroes and strategically using tools and resources to rally the community support that keeps their businesses operating every day."
After the companies are judged on their commitment to their business, community and overall social media need as well as their enthusiasm, five finalists will be selected. These winners will receive house calls from both American Express OPEN and Facebook experts, who will help increase their online customer base. They will also be given $25,000 to take the strategies they learn and put them into action. The winners will be educated on how to build their brand through Facebook and other social media websites and be trained about everything from Facebook Pages, Ads to Social Plugins.
In an attempt to award any business who enters the competition, American Express OPEN will give 10 runner-ups $2,500 in advertising credits for Facebook, which should help a company tackle one small business challenge by getting their name out there.
"We've seen more and more businesses use Facebook to connect with their customers, jump-start conversations about their products and services, and foster long-term loyalty and sales," said Grady Burnett, Facebook’s vice president of Global Marketing Solutions. "It's being on Facebook and developing their company's brand online and off that work for small businesses across America, and that's why we’re so excited to partner again with American Express on the Big Break contest."
Even if a business does not win this contest, they are still able to take advantage of marketing through Facebook. According to Mashable, a few good ideas include finding a third-party platform to distribute news to all of the social media sites a company is a part of at once. Also, businesses should provide some local content that will give the customers something to keep them going to a page. For example, by issuing incentives and discounts on occasion, more people will be willing to go to a page and reap these benefits.