The joint effort is designed to help small businesses acquire and retain customers, build a community around their business, and reach new customers among Facebook users – claimed to be 800 million.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and we believe that Facebook can be a tremendous tool to fuel their growth and success,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer.
“Our goal is to give small businesses a boost by helping them find customers the best way possible – through recommendations from friends. We’re proud to be working with the NFIB and U.S. Chamber in this effort.”
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In the U.S., small businesses employ more than half of all private sector workers and have generated more than 64% of new jobs over the past 15 years, making them a critical component of the economy.
Facebook claims that it has emerged as an important marketing tool for these businesses with more than half of the 800 million people active on Facebook making a connection to a small business.
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The result, it says, is more than 700 millions connections between customers and potential customers to local businesses. That’s why Facebook, NFIB and U.S. Chamber are combining resources, expertise and reach to help small businesses use social media to grow.
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Specifically, the partners will work together on a number of initiatives to help businesses, including:
Resources: The education effort will combine the knowledge and resources of Facebook, NFIB and the U.S. Chamber to provide American local businesses with webinars, collateral, case studies and tips. These materials will educate business owners on how to improve their connection to customers and reach new customers through the use of free Facebook tools like Pages and Platform, as well as other marketing options including Ads and Sponsored Stories.
Roadshows: As a part of this education effort, the program will include a cross-country roadshow coordinated with state and local chambers of commerce and regional NFIB offices. At these events, experts will meet directly with local businesses to discuss how to get the best results in connecting with customers on Facebook.
Facebook Small Business Boost: Starting in January 2012 and following the education effort, Facebook will begin awarding businesses up to $10 million worth of free Facebook advertisements. The goal of these ad credits is to give 200,000 businesses across the country a $50 boost.
New educational resources developed by the collaboration will begin to become available in the coming weeks as will dates and locations for roadshow events. For more information: http://www.facebook.com/smallbusinessboost. It was announced Monday, Sept. 26.