SOCIAL media sites YouTube and Facebook are being used to promote small South African businesses through one- minute videos giving owners an opportunity to say why the services they offer are unique, and allowing for the online community to respond. The idea is the brainchild of First National Bank (FNB), and was developed to encourage small businesses to explore the options social media offers. The winner will receive advertising worth R100000 on the radio station most relevant to its brand, as well as publicity through the bank’s channels. Divan Botha, head of marketing for FNB banking, said: "It’s all about innovation. Businesses have been nervous about moving to social media. It opens you up to criticism and to a platform where people share ideas and express themselves, which can be scary."
Mr Botha said the bank supported the position that small business and entrepreneurs were vital to job creation and economic development. Entries can be recorded on cellphones or on cameras and sent to YouTube with the tag FNB Join Us, and via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. The competition starts today and closes on March 30. Companies from any sector can enter, but they must have a turnover of less than R10m. "FNB will judge the noise and the impact of the video and the overall conversation it sparks," said Mr Botha.