Small businesses struggling for sales this holiday season, you’re in luck. Facebook, Google, Twitter and other digital pioneers are joining with American Express for Small Business Saturday (SBS) 2011, a national initiative meant to drive sales.
Together, these innovators will provide toolkits enabling small business owners and independent shops to better market their brands. Starting today, the business owner toolkit will be available on Facebook, iStockAnalyst reports.
Although SBS is fairly young — it’s only seen one year since its launch in 2010 — Senior Vice President of American Express OPEN, Mary Ann Fitzmaurice Reilly, points out that it’s been incredibly helpful to affiliated merchants.
“Last year, we saw a 29 percent rise in sales volumes for our small business merchants versus the same day in 2009. An all-star line-up of partners is coming together to provide the tools to help make this year even more impactful for small business owners throughout the country.”
What’s being offered:
American Express will be giving away $100 (USD) in free Facebook advertising to the first 10,000 business owners who sign up. Additionally, American Express is also offering a simple tutorial that will walk those unfamiliar with Facebook through the step-by-step creation process of a Facebook Page. In this way, small businesses can better target their audience according to their real likes and interests.
Through Google, American Express is also offering My Business Story in mid-October. MBS is a tool that enables small business owners to create and post free, personalized and professional videos online for social networking sites, YouTube and other website about their companies or brands. According to Google research, online videos boost brand recall by 50 percent, and likeability by 26 percent.
Twitter is offering its handy “Follow” button, helping businesses engage their consumers through Twitter’s service by encouraging them to expand their marketing reach.
These toolkits should prove to be incredibly helpful for small business who still need to transition to the modern methods of digital marketing. With social networking ad revenue now estimated to reach $10 billion by 2013 and $5.4B in this year alone, it’s only a natural progression for those unfamiliar with these services to begin adopting the tools offered by platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google.
What do you think? If you own or know of a small business, will you be taking advantage of or encouraging other SB’s to jump on this opportunity? Provided that SBS ’11 goes well, will small businesses of the future be more likely to adopt the offered platforms? Weigh in below.