Facebook may have thrown its 800 million users (and marketers everywhere) into a tizzy with all of its recent changes, but don’t fret: Mark Zuckerberg and his team are going to back up their technology innovations with marketing and product support.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced a partnership with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that will provide small businesses with free tools and resources, and up to $10 million in advertising on the site.
“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,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, said in a press release.
“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,” she continued.
Facebook has emerged as a leading marketing channel for small businesses, mostly because it works. More than 50% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product after becoming a fan on Facebook, and 56% of consumers say they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook. (Both statistics come from a recent survey conducted by Constant Contact and market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.)
To help small businesses make the most of the site, and take advantage of the great word of mouth that Facebook enables, it is offering the following:
- Education: Combining the expertise and resources of Facebook, NFIB, and the U.S. Chamber, Facebook will offer small businesses 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 Facebook’s tools.
- Roadshows: The educational program will also include a cross-country roadshow coordinated with state and local chambers of commerce and regional NFIB offices. At these events, small business owners will have the opportunity to meet directly with Facebook experts to discuss how to get the best results in connecting with customers on the site.
- Advertising: Starting in January 2012, Facebook will begin awarding $50 in advertising credits to 200,000 businesses (a total of $10 million).
We don’t just “Like” this news. We applaud Facebook for this effort and encourage small businesses everywhere to take advantage of the resources. To learn more, visit this site: www.facebook.com/smallbusinessboost.
What do you think? Will these offerings make you more willing to use Facebook for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.