If you’re a small or mid-sized retailer looking for first-hand help in marketing and expanding your social networking presence, now there’s a unique opportunity for you to do just that thanks to Facebook and OPEN, the small business arm of American Express.
The two have teamed up to roll out “Facebook Big Break for Small Business”, a new national contest designed to help change the way small businesses use Facebook to connect and engage with customers in a more authentic and personalized way.
“Small business owners are experts at customer engagement, but the tools and techniques for finding and engaging customers are quickly evolving,” said Julie Fajgenbaum, American Express OPEN’s vice president for Brand and Customer Marketing. “It’s critical that business owners understand these new channels and platforms, which is why we are collaborating with Facebook to educate on the benefits of engaging customers through social media and provide real, tangible tips on how to do it effectively.”
Seeing as this is a contest, you probably just want us to get to the good stuff, aka what you get if you win, already right?
Well, five winners will eventually be selected and awarded an all-expense paid trip to Facebook’s headquarters in California for a two-day, in-depth one-on-one business ‘makeover’ and a $20,000 cash prize to help their social media strategy moving forward.
During these makeovers, winners will be advised on how to best maximize Facebook to improve the marketing of their business and service to both existing and new customers. Each winner will get practical and personal training on best practices for using all of Facebook’s business services, including Pages, Ads and Social Plugins. All of these training sessions will be filmed and shown on both OPEN’s Facebook page and OPEN Forum, AmEx’s small business resource site.
The contest will also award ten runners-up with $2,500 worth of Facebook advertising to help them target new customers.
If you want to enter, it’s pretty simple to do so. Visit OPEN’s Facebook page and fill out the short questionnaire describing how you would utilize the winning prize to better your business. Ten finalists will be chosen by a panel of industry experts based on, among other things, their commitment to their business and its overall growth and their enthusiasm for small business in general.
The finalists will then compete in a final round of judging where OPEN Facebook fans will be asked to vote for their five favorite small businesses to win the trip to Facebook and $20,000 prize.
This sounds like a pretty nice opportunity to us, and one that doesn’t require much legwork on your end so get to it and leave us your feedback about the contest in a comment below. Good luck!