Facebook, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced plans to help American small businesses grow and create jobs. 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’s 800 million users.
“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.”
“As the nation’s leading small-business advocate, we are always looking for ways to help America’s entrepreneurs,” said NFIB Chief Executive Officer Dan Danner. “NFIB’s research indicates that poor sales have been the top small-business problem for some time now, so help attracting customers will be most welcome for America’s job creators. We’re excited to partner with Facebook to reach millions of small-business owners who will benefit from this program.”
“Partnering with Facebook offers the Chamber’s small business members an opportunity to leverage one of the world’s most popular communities to connect with current and prospective customers,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “As small businesses look for new ways to remain competitive, the Chamber will continue to provide innovative solutions for succeeding in an ever-evolving economy.”
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 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. The result 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. 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: www.facebook.com/smallbusinessboost