Facebook Canada announced a new program Monday that pairs small businesses in the Greater Toronto Area with leading media agencies.
Called “Grand For Good,” the six week initiative was created to show small businesses how they can use Facebook as a marketing platform, both through earned media and Facebook’s ad products. Each small business/media agency team will be given $5,000 in Facebook advertising credits to grow their business’ presence. The program aims to create a strong social foundation the business can use when the program ends.
Grand For Good is looking for Canadian-owned independent businesses that are new to Facebook and ideally have fewer than 300 likes. Alfredo Tan, group director of global marketing solutions at Facebook Canada, said the company is particularly interested in small businesses that serve a social good such as veterinarian clinics, message therapists or health food stores, though this is not a strict criteria.
The social network is accepting applications until Aug. 23. The first of its kind globally, the program may be launched in other Canadian cities if it’s successful in the Toronto area and would ideally be rolled out internationally as well.
Tan also said the 10 media agencies in the program – Mindshare, PHD Network Canada, Starcom Mediavest Group, Aegis, M2Universal, MEC, UM Canada and OMD Canada – were selected because they’ve completed Studio Edge, Facebook’s education program for agencies.
“The Greater Toronto Area is becoming one of the largest and most innovative hubs for small businesses to launch and grow,” Robin Hassan, senior vice-president of digital strategy at Mediacom Canada, said in a release. “We are excited to help some of these businesses leverage our paid, owned and earned media planning expertise to reap the benefits of that Facebook can provide in terms of awareness and engagement.”