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Press release from Business Wire

Staples Survey Reveals Small Businesses Find Growing Value in Social Media

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>Staples Pushes Small Businesses Forward with $150,000 in Digital Marketing</b></i> </p>

Monday, May 06, 2013

Staples Survey Reveals Small Businesses Find Growing Value in Social Media

08:00 EDT Monday, May 06, 2013

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (Business Wire) -- Small business owners recognize the power of social media in engaging customers but most lack the expertise to apply the latest digital marketing tools to their businesses, according to a recent survey conducted by Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), the world's largest office products company and second largest internet retailer.

In fact, a large Facebook community of fans topped a small business “wish list,” outranking such traditional marketing tools such as a celebrity endorsement (22%) and Super Bowl ad (18%).

To help small businesses master powerful digital tools, Staples is helping push small business forward by awarding three small businesses $50,000 each in digital marketing as part of the Staples Push It Forward Contest launching today on Staples' Facebook page through 5:00 p.m. ET on May 31, 2013. For rules and eligibility, visit the contest on Facebook.com/Staples.

“Small businesses play a vital role in our communities,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, Stores and Online Marketing, Staples. “At Staples, we've been helping small business for nearly three decades and 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.”

Staples Small Business Social Media Survey

The Staples survey looked at how small businesses are integrating social media into their operations. Poll results include:

  • 53% of small business owners/leader are either novices or do not consider how social media can help their business
  • 40% of small businesses feel that their social media channel use has helped their business
  • 61% of small businesses use at least one social media channel
  • Most frequently mentioned goal for social media usage is engaging customers (50%), edging out increasing sales (46%) and creating brand awareness (44%)
  • Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by Twitter are the leading social media channels used by small business owners

Enter To Win $50,000 in Digital Marketing

To help make digital media easy for small businesses, Staples today launched the Staples Push It Forward Contest which awards three winning small businesses with $50,000 each in digital marketing. Small businesses can enter to win the Staples Push It Forward Contest by submitting a 75 word essay on the contest site that answers the question: “What would a $50,000 digital marketing push from Staples mean for your small business?” Of the submissions, three small business grand prize winners will be selected by Staples, small business expert Steve Strauss and consumer votes to receive $50,000 in digital marketing.

Grand Prize Includes:

  • Paid digital marketing
  • Account Manager from GannettLocal (digital marketing agency) to create, manage and optimize a customized digital marketing media solution
  • Free, one-year account with Constant Contact (online marketing leader)
  • One-on-one (1-hour) session with small business expert and USA Today columnist Steve Strauss
  • Special $5,000 Bonus Prize if the winner is a member of Succeed Powered by Staples on LinkedIn

Voter Prize Package Includes:

Plus, one person who votes for their favorite small business will be randomly selected to win a Voter Prize Package worth $1,500 in prizes from Staples including a Microsoft Surface Pro 128 GB, Microsoft Surface type cover, Microsoft Surface mouse and $300 Staples gift card.

In addition to entering the contest, small businesses can read tips from small business expert and USA Today columnist Steve Strauss, learn more about the Staples LinkedIn Succeed community or visit the newly launched Staples Business Hub, which feature new articles and tips weekly to assist small businesses.

About Staples

Staples is the world's largest office products company and second largest internet retailer. For 26 years, Staples has served the needs of business customers and its vision is to provide every product businesses need to succeed. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples offers office supplies, technology products and services, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, copy and print services and a wide range of other product categories. With thousands of associates worldwide dedicated to making it easy for businesses of all sizes, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.

Staples, Inc.
Carrie McElwee, 508-253-1405
Carrie.McElwee@Staples.com

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