Small Business Saturday: Everybody Wins With This AmEx Brainchild

The day after “Black Friday,” Nov. 26, is the second annual Small Business Saturday, where holiday shoppers are urged to take advantage of local businesses, those smaller, independent retailers that help drive economic recoveries.
The brainchild of American Express, the “Shop Small” campaign is picking up steam in its second go-round, with more than 2.4 million “liking” the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
For American Express cardholders, it pays to visit the Facebook page. AmEx is offering a one-time $25 statement credit when you register an eligible American Express card and use that card for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th. Registration is limited.
In 2010, Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express to help focus on small businesses’ need to drive sales in these tough economic times. The occasion recognizes the importance of small business and their vital contributions to the economy, job creation and local communities.
“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.”
The “all-star lineup” includes Facebook, Twitter and Google. These three online giants are offering a toolkit to help small business owners boost sales this holiday season.
Here’s a recap of the free toolkits:
Facebook Ads
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.
Twitter Follow Button
Small business owners can take advantage of Twitter’s Follow button to expand their marketing reach. These small businesses will be able to place a Follow button on their websites, and with a simple click, consumers will be able to follow them on Twitter.
YourBuzz to Help Drive Social Media Engagement
YourBuzz, an easy-to-use tool from American Express OPEN, helps small businesses reach more customers by enabling them to view and respond to customer reviews and online mentions, all from one place. YourBuzz aggregates conversations across highly influential review sites, such as Yelp and CitySearch, and social services such as Facebook, foursquare and Twitter, to ensure listings are accurate, build customer relationships, and mitigate the damage that can be caused by poor reviews. When combating negative or false reviews, a business should know the downsides of content removals before proceeding with something like that and instead investigate the benefits of online reputation management.
For more information on all Small Business Saturday activities and offers visit: facebook.com/ShopSmall or smallbusinesssaturday.com.
 

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