And the winners are — well, there’s five. You may have voted for one of them in American Express’ Facebook Big Break for Small Businesses contest.
The owners of the following five businesses will head to Facebook headquarters for two-day tutorials:
You can watch each of these proprietors describe their businesses in the video embeds beneath this post.
Each will receive instruction on how best to maximize the power of the social medium to greatly improve the marketing of their products or services via Facebook pages, ads and social plug-ins.
All five had received a $2,500 prize when they’d made it to the finalist round, which featured ten different small businesses on an American Express page on Facebook, asking people to vote on them.
Amex’s contest is the latest in a series of promotions aimed at small businesses; recent offerings in this market have also included free ads during the winter holiday shopping season at the end of 2010.
The card company’s small business contest taps a big trend; a survey from Constant Contact found that social media marketing has surged to be a top contender in small businesses’ marketing tool kit.
- 73 percent of small businesses report using social media to market their business, and this appears to be a growing trend.
- Of those who are not currently using social media marketing, 62 percent expect to begin using social media marketing in the coming year.
- 81 percent of those currently using social media marketing expect to increase their efforts this year.
- Facebook was far and away the most popular site, with 65.7 percent of businesses using the popular social networking site for marketing.
The recent results of a Merchant Circle survey designed to track trends in small business sentiments over time also show the prominence of social media in the local marketing mix, especially marketing on Facebook. The popularity of Facebook topped the use of Google by over 12 percent, and more than doubled the usage of marketing on Twitter.
American Express Open Vice President of Brand and Social Media Julie Fajgenbaum said in a press release:
Social media marketing is rapidly moving from nice-to-have to must-have for small businesses. These five businesses have great potential and will make excellent case studies for the millions of small business owners out there who are looking to accelerate their social media marketing efforts in order to grow.