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Fairfield Inn & Suites Awards ecycler $20,000 Grand Prize in Small Business Contest

BETHESDA, Md. Feb. 9, 2011 Small Business Road-to-Success Challenge ecycler, Inc. Timothy Laurent Craig Robertson $20,000

Lake Forest, Illinois

Laurent and Robertson found success by pairing the use of social media to open doors for in-person meetings with smart business travel at Fairfield Inn & Suites. As part of the competition, each of the ten small business finalists received 15 free hotel nights at Fairfield Inn & Suites. While many small business owners do not recognize the business value of social media or how to use it effectively to win new customers, Laurent and Robertson have found the tool helpful in growing the business.

"The Fairfield Small Business Challenge gave us the opportunity to stay for free and close business deals that would not have been possible without them," said Laurent. "The contest also taught us how to more effectively use social media to grow our business. We achieved the best results when we used social media to open doors for in-person meetings."

September 2010

Shruti Gandhi Buckley

During the Small Business Road-to-Success Challenge, the finalists shared the highs and lows of their journeys by blogging, tweeting and posting photos from the road. Over the three month competition, the finalists stayed at Fairfield Inn & Suites properties in 26 states. Recognizing the importance of social media in growing a small business, the finalists also competed in three social media mini-challenges that sparked ideas on how to increase their Twitter followers and Facebook friends, as well as engage with bloggers. As a result of the social media mini-challenges, the finalists increased their Twitter followers by more than 15,000 and fans on Facebook by 9,000 in less than three weeks.

$20,000 CityRyde Timothy Ericson Insider Perks Brian Searl

About Fairfield Inn & Suites

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SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.

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