Some of the world's online pioneers are uniting around a common goal:
driving more business to local, independent shops for Small Business
Saturday 2011. Facebook®, Google, Twitter and other innovators are
joining with American Express to offer a toolkit designed to help small
business owners get the cash registers ringing this holiday season. The
business owner toolkit will roll out over the next few weeks, starting
today, and will be available at www.facebook.com/ShopSmall.
In 2010, Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express to help
address small businesses' greatest need: driving sales. It was also an
occasion to recognize the importance of small business and their vital
contributions to the economy, job creation, and local communities. The
national initiative encourages consumers to shop at small businesses
during the holiday season. All small businesses, not just those that use
or accept American Express, are able to participate. Most of the toolkit
offerings were created to be relevant to business owners even beyond
Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday falls on Thanksgiving weekend between Black
Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Small Business Saturday will be on
"Last year, we saw a 28 percent rise in sales volumes for our small
business merchants versus the same day in 2009," said Mary Ann
Fitzmaurice Reilly, senior vice president, American Express OPEN. "An
all-star line-up of partners is coming together to provide the tools to
help make this year even more impactful for small business owners
throughout the country."
Free Toolkit Includes:
For the second year, American Express is giving $100 in free Facebook
advertising to the first 10,000 business owners who sign up. Facebook
Ads help build online buzz and drive customer engagement because they
can be targeted to people's real likes and interests. In addition, for
those small businesses that do not have Facebook Pages but want to take
advantage of the free advertising, American Express will offer a tool
that takes them step-by-step through the free Page-creation process.
Google Tools to Create Professional-Quality Videos
Google and American Express are partnering to offer small businesses My
Business Story, a tool to create and post free videos online about
their businesses. Google research has shown that companies who
effectively leverage video can expect better customer engagement and
retention: online video boosts brand recall by 50 percent and
likeability by 26 percent. With the free My Business Story tool, small
business owners can create personalized, professional-quality videos for
YouTube, social networks, business websites and more. This tool will be
available in mid-October.
Twitter Follow Button
Small business owners can take advantage of Twitter's Follow button to
expand their marketing reach.