REPORT: Super Bowl Ads? Small Businesses Would Rather Have Large Facebook Communities

By David Cohen 

Small business owners surveyed by office-products giant Staples would rather have large Facebook fan communities than celebrity endorsements, or even Super Bowl ads.

Staples also found that:

  • 53 percent of small business owners are either novices or have not considered how social media can help their businesses.
  • 40 percent feel that social media use has helped their businesses.
  • 61 percent use at least one social network.
  • Engaging customers, at 50 percent, was the most frequently mentioned goal for social media usage, followed by increasing sales (46 percent), and creating brand awareness (44 percent).
  • The leading social networks used by small business owners are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Staples also announced the launch of the Staples Push It Forward Contest on its Facebook page, in which small businesses submit 75-word essays answering the question, “What would a $50,000 digital marketing push from Staples mean for your small business?”

Three grand-prize winners will be chosen by Staples, small business expert Steve Strauss, and customer voting, receiving:

  • $50,000 in paid digital marketing.
  • An account manager from GannettLocal to help them create, manage, and optimize their customized digital marketing media solutions.
  • A free one-year account with online marketing outfit Constant Contact.
  • A one-hour, one-on-one session with Strauss.
  • A special $5,000 bonus prize for those that are already members of Succeed Powered by Staples on LinkedIn.

In addition, one Facebook user who votes will be randomly selected to win $1,500 in prizes from Staples, including a Microsoft Surface Pro 128 GB, Microsoft Surface type cover, Microsoft Surface mouse, and $300 gift card.

Staples Senior Vice President, Stores and Online Marketing Alison Corcoran said:

Small businesses play a vital role in our communities. At Staples, we’ve been helping small business for nearly three decades, and we are taking that to the next level by providing the latest digital marketing tools, tips, expertise, and information through our new Staples Business Hub and the Push It Forward Contest on our Facebook page. The contest is the result of feedback and insight gathered from our Succeed small business community on LinkedIn.