Three Social-Media-Fueled Contests for Small Businesses Contests are emerging as a popular, low-cost way for big companies to connect with their small-business customers. Check out these three business contests.

By Carol Tice

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

3 Social-Media Fueled Contests that Offer Small Businesses a BoostThese days, it's easier to win the lottery than to score venture capital financing. So it's nice to see a few major corporations stepping up with contests for small businesses. Contests are emerging as a popular, fairly low-cost way for big companies to get people to connect with their brand in social media -- and entrepreneurs come out the winners.

Three contests with substantial prizes are running right now. The main thing to know: Those with video storytelling skills have a definite leg-up here.

Here's a look at the competitions:

Wal-Mart's "Get on the Shelf." I know so many small manufacturers and solopreneur inventors who dream of getting their product into Wal-Mart. Well, here's your chance. The winner of this contest will be featured on Walmart.com and in Wal-Mart stores, as well as receive marketing help and assistance in scaling up production to meet the retail behemoth's needs.

Related: 10 Lessons in Marketing Brilliance

You enter by submitting a video about your business -- looks like they'd prefer them served up via YouTube. Submission cutoff is Feb. 22, and voting begins March 7. Two rounds of voting conclude April 24.

Staples' "Give Your Small Business the Push it Needs." In this contest, the office-supply giant is offering the winning five businesses up to $50,000 in free television advertising in the form of inclusion in a Staples ad or $40,000 in free advertising and $10,000 in cash each. Winners also get $500 in Staples merchandise and services. To enter, you submit a 15-second video about your business on Staples' Facebook page.

Looks like winners will be the businesses that get the most votes for their video. (Note that you'll need to "like" Staples on Facebook to learn the contest rules. The press release doesn't spell them out.) The submission cutoff is March 14.

Facebook Small Business Boost. Speaking of Facebook... The social-media network has its own contest going on. It is offering $100,000 in prizes -- or, more specifically, up to $10,000 in free advertising to the 10 U.S.-based businesses that can drive the most "likes" to their business Facebook page by April 1.

Related: Is Facebook Advertising for You?

There are also smaller prizes. For instance, if you can attract 50 likes to your page before the deadline, you'll get $50 in free Facebook advertising. One hundred likes gets you a $100 ad credit.

Have you seen any other small-business contests? Feel free to add to my list in the comments.

Carol Tice

Owner of Make a Living Writing

Longtime Seattle business writer Carol Tice has written for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Delta Sky and many more. She writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Her new ebook for Oberlo is Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Woman Allegedly Fired for 'Theft' After Eating a Sandwich That Was Leftover From a Meeting

Gabriela Rodriguez worked as a cleaner at Devonshires Solicitors in London for two years.

Business News

A 29-Year-Old CEO Quit Microsoft To Build His Startup — And Just Scored A Deal on Shark Tank

Aabesh De tapped into a niche need during the pandemic and founded Flora, a houseplant care startup.

Growing a Business

The Owners of This Texas Farmers Market Took a Big Gamble. Here's How It Paid Off Bigger Than They Dreamed.

A Texas farmers market educates customers about the importance of shopping local for a healthy lifestyle and an even healthier small business community.

Business News

A Billion Dollar Startup Is Trying To Resurrect A Woolly Mammoth — And You Can Watch It Happen

Filmmakers will go behind the scenes of billion-dollar startup Colossal Biosciences, which uses genetic engineering for de-extinction projects.

Employee Experience & Recruiting

Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes With These Five Essential Tips

From using an AI-powered video platform to posting more precise job listings, these strategies will help hiring managers spend less time, energy and money finding the right candidates.