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Facebook Partners Up to Help Small Businesses, Offering Up to $10 Million in Ad Credit

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Facebook may be in the news and on everyone’s mind because of the new Facebook Timeline, but here’s a new reason to be talking about the company.

Today (September 26), Facebook, the National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a joint press release announcing their partnership.

Their joint effort is designed to give small businesses a boost by strengthening their current customer base and community, as well as reaching new customers via 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.”

What’s their plan? The companies are working together on initiatives including combining their knowledge and resources, cross-country road show events and the Facebook Small Business Boost (described below).

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.

For more information on their collaboration, as well as dates and locations for roadshow events, visit http://www.facebook.com/smallbusinessboost.

What do you think about this partnership and Facebook’s desire to help small businesses?

Source

Julie Bonner covers breaking news in several different areas for the BlogWorld Blog. After blogging in a variety of topics, she found her calling in the world of toys and owns ToyXplosion, a site dedicated to all things toys. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter (@juliebonner).


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  • Lucy

    50 bucks doesnt seem like alot. You get more credits for free in the mail.

  • BusinessInAsheville

    While
    there is no doubt that social media can be a great aid in spreading the word
    about small businesses, real solutions that make a profound difference in a
    business are often multi-faceted. I know that’s not what people want to hear.
    Simple answers that one can learn about in a few webinars are what people
    prefer. We all do. But I think that deep down we all know that to really ignite
    a business, we’re going to have to do more than that.

     

    Besides
    having Facebook help you get more eyeballs, what a business owner really needs
    are as follows:

     

    1)   The
    right sales.

     

    For
    example, let’s say you own a construction company, and you gross $800,000 per
    year. You want to increase sales to, say, a million. But how will that affect
    your profit? You might think it’s simple math: if your profit off of $800,000
    is 30% ($240,000) and if you increase your gross business income by $200,000,
    your increase in profit should 30% of $200,000 ($60,000). Your new total
    end-of-the-year profit should be about $300,000.

     

    If
    you’ve been in business a number of years, you’ve already seen that simple math
    doesn’t always work in the real world.

     

    Here’s
    why: What if your increase in income was all through framing jobs, but your
    profit off of framing jobs is only 18%? 
    That changes things, doesn’t it? And what if you found, thorough a
    careful look at the numbers, that your profit off of kitchen and bath
    installations was 40%? You can see how close analysis of the various products
    or services you offer can give you a better idea of where you should be
    focusing your efforts.

     

    Or
    you might need to take a look at the markets you serve. What is the difference
    in profit per project for new construction jobs versus renovations? How about
    the difference in profit for constructions of apartment buildings and
    condominiums versus individual, custom-built homes?

     

    So
    is it just more sales you need? Perhaps by changing the type of jobs you work
    on you might be able to gross the same $800,000 (or even less) and yet squeeze
    out a higher profit than the $60,000 extra that you were striving for by
    increasing sales. Hey, who doesn’t like to make more money while working less?
    (As a side, notice that you’ll have to work more initially, in number-crunching
    and planning, but it will pay off for years to come.)

     

    There’s
    another thing you need more than sales…

     

    2)  Customers
    who are willing to spend extra.

     

    Facebook
    and other forms of social media, and even conventional advertising, might get
    you more eyeballs, but these people are only mildly interested in you, because
    as far as they are concerned, you’re just as good (or as bad) as the next guy.
    And the next guy is on Facebook, too. So if that’s the case, then what are they
    often looking for? The cheaper deal. And, hey, maybe you can provide that, but
    is that what you really want? 
    Trying to give cheaper and cheaper prices to compete against everyone
    else? That’s a race to the bottom and it often means working your tail off just
    to get by.

     

    Wouldn’t
    it be better if someone came to you saying, “I wanted to talk to you because
    so-and-so recommended you, and he said you’re the best.” This potential
    customer doesn’t expect the cheapest rate from you. He might even be prepared
    do pay a premium. Why? Because his friend said you’re worth it.

     

    How
    do you get those sort of recommendations? It isn’t by gimmicks like “recommend
    your neighbor and we’ll take 10% off your bill”. It’s by doing phenomenal,
    thorough, first-class work. Not work that is just as good as the other guy’s,
    but work that goes beyond what is expected in your industry. Do work like that
    and the recommendations will start to trickle in. Then do it again and again.
    In time the floodgates will open. You can’t get that from Facebook.

     

    What
    else do you need?

     

    3)  Knowledge
    about your potential customers.

     

    As
    in, know them to the core. What concerns them? What do they wish they had? Can
    you give it to them?

     

    For
    instance, here in Asheville people are into healthy, local food. And, yes, we
    have Earth Fare and Greenlife. But tell me this: where are the health food
    convenience stores? Other than one small grocery/convenience store here, I
    haven’t seen to many small stores that offer healthy food. I know not everyone
    in my town is concerned about eating well, but I think convenience store owners
    underestimate how many Ashevilleans would pay a little extra to be able to get
    good quality food by just walking to the corner. The store owners would love to
    increase sales, but they don’t know their customers. If they did, they could
    profit more without necessarily having to increase the number of people walking
    through the door.

     

    So
    will Facebook help? Maybe, but there’s some deep digging to do if a business
    owner yearns for real profitability.

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