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Sam’s Club promotes business support services with social media advice

Sam’s Club is extending its corporate social responsibility initiatives and promoting its business support solutions by unrolling an interactive social campaign inviting small business owners to submit their questions on its Facebook and Twitter accounts for expert advice.

American small business executives can join in the conversation by posting their questions and concerns using the #SmallBizHelp hashtag. Sam’s Club employees will respond with resources, tips and solutions for saving money and time when managing a company, and will also post #DidYouKnow small business facts on its social media accounts in a bid to offer relevant content to followers.

“Based on member feedback, we know small business owners value the savings of time as much as saving money, so we’ve extended the value of Sam’s Business membership with service solutions that help them save on critical yet time-consuming operations like payroll, online marketing and tax preparation,” said Carrie Moore, spokeswoman for Sam’s Club, Bentonville, AR.

“These services are a collaboration with trusted industry experts, including, First Data and SmartBiz and are enabled by simple online platforms. As part of our commitment to anytime, anywhere member service, we introduced #SmallBizHelp to further leverage this network of industry experts and services directly to small business owners.”

Showing interest in consumers
Sam’s Club is undoubtedly seeking to display interest in its consumers and provide them with expert feedback in exchange for their business over the years. Small company owners are encouraged to follow @SamsClub on Twitter as well as Sam’s Club Facebook to participate in the social campaign.

Based on feedback, the warehouse retailer discovered that business owners’ primary concerns stemmed from six key areas: identity protection, accounting and tax preparation, digital marketing, human resources, business lending and payment processing.

Sam’s Club will post replies to questions relating to these topics on social media, alongside general knowledge informational tidbits, using the hashtag #DidYouKnow. A series of tip-based articles will accompany these Tweets and may be found at

The retailer believes that mobile is the ideal channel for hosting a public discussion on small business owners’ needs and concerns, especially as many of the executives in question have little time to dig up the appropriate resources for help.

“With more than 2.5 million members and fans following our social channels and their increased reliance on mobile to engage our brand, it simply makes sense to bring #SmallBizHelp and our network of industry experts to social channels where our members already engage us,” Ms. Moore said. “We continue to explore new and exciting ways in which our social channels surprise, engage and support our members.”

The brand is proving its dedication of listening to consumers and providing them with content that is relevant to their needs, a move that may set Sam’s Club apart from other similar warehouse retailers, such as Costco or BJ’s.

To sweeten the campaign even more, Sam’s Club is employing the assistance of business members to disperse the message of new company perks. It has tapped pizzeria owners in 14 cities, including Chicago and Nashville, to deliver lunches packed in Sam’s Club-branded boxes to select entrepreneurial incubators and small business advocates.

Promoting its services
Another benefit to rolling out this interactive social media campaign is the retailer’s ability to promote its own suite of services designed to help business owners save money and time via savings on merchandise and benefits. Sam’s Club provides mobile and online support for certain important business operations, such as identity theft protection and payment solutions.

For example, consumers in need of payroll and human resources platforms can use the Execupay mobile application or tablet app to access employee management tools and run payroll in under one minute.

Therefore, individuals who ask Sam’s Club a business-related question will receive an answer as well as a possible solution they may opt to purchase or use.

This strategy will likely culminate in widespread appreciation from company owners, and will also serve as an ideal way for Sam’s Club to enhance its mobile efforts, promote its available resources and further corporate social responsibility goals.

Additionally, the brand is offering customers daily deals on its site and application to enhance membership value and further augment its suite of mobile-friendly services, such as Club Pickup (see story).

“At Sam’s Club, we listen to our members all the time,” Ms. Moore said. “What our business members often tell us is that time is their most precious resource – and they don’t have much to spare.

“So while each of our services include expert counsel through toll-free numbers, on-site business consultants and live Web chats on each of our Business Benefits websites, #SmallBizHelp reinforces our larger commitment to legendary member service, anywhere, anytime,” she said.

“For years we’ve helped our members run their business – we have been the club for the small business community for 33 years – and today we offer the tools, technology and resources to help them grow their business like no other retailer can.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York