The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Fullscreen Small Biz Playbook

Finalist in Emergency Relief

Entered in Community or Employee Engagement, Real Time Response


There’s no denying that Small businesses have suffered a great impact and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. From a shortage of toilet paper on the shelves to the closure of non-essential businesses, these unprecedented times have fundamentally changed consumer shopping behavior. With a decrease in foot traffic, social media is the new Main Street for small businesses. While many mom-and-pop shops are needing to pivot their marketing and sales strategies, Fullscreen leaders challenged their employees with a simple question: How can we leverage our expertise and capabilities to help affected businesses pivot?

Enter the Small Business Social Media Playbook. 

In an effort to support the small business community, Fullscreen harnessed its skill set for good, creating the Small Business Social Media Playbook. 82% of millennials agree businesses need to change how they're advertising during the COVID-19 crisis. As a company that moves at the speed of social, Fullscreen quickly came together to create a comprehensive step-by-step guide to social media marketing. The guide and corresponding templates made free and available to download, was tailored to an audience new to social media with limited resources, and need to pivot to digital amid shelter-in-place orders and social distancing measures. 

The motivation of the campaign was simple: Who we buy from now, determines who is still standing tomorrow.

Strategy and Execution

In early April at the height of the pandemic, every department at Fullscreen collaborated at record speeds to produce a detailed manual for small business owners to leverage social media for their businesses as a means of connecting with their customers. 

This pro-bono effort consisted of an 8-step approach to social strategy and incorporated a fictional donut shop to demonstrate the process:

  1. Identify your social media audience

  2. Find your competitive positioning

  3. Develop your tone

  4. Identify your priority platform

  5. Create content with your audience in mind

  6. Foster community

  7. Reach new audiences with paid media

  8. Measure your success

To spread awareness of the free eight-step guide, we leveraged press, paid media, organic social content across O+O channels, and Fullscreen’s very own creator network. WarnerMedia, Fullscreen’s parent company, distributed the playbook to its employee base of 30,000 worldwide and published it to its COVID-19 response portal to share with external clients/partners. 

We targeted national, state, and local reporters and media outlets, focusing on the areas hardest hit.  As a result, the playbook was discussed on the Savvy Social podcast and in webinars from Adweek, CNBC, Entrepreneur, and The Wrap.  

The number of U.S. Black business owners dropped by 41% between Feb and Apr to 640,000 compared to a 17% drop in the number of white business owners. With this in mind, we hosted an interactive social media small business playbook workshop with Culture Creators for 100 Black-owned business owners.

As part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia we were invited to participate in AT&T’s partnership in the American Express “Stand For Small” initiative and created a content marketing series tied to our Small Business Social Media Playbook that provides actionable steps for small businesses needing to pivot amidst the pandemic.


This has been a labor of love, pure and simple. Our number one priority in this collaboration was to provide a resource for business owners. We’re not a group to sit idly, so our Fullscreen family came together to ideate initiatives that added value to our communities, specifically for small business owners. 

Talent including photography tutorial pros Mango Street Lab @mangostreetlab, chef Nick DiGiovanni @nick.digiovanni, lifestyle creators Linda Elaine @iamlindaelaine and Angela Lanter @angelalanter, and poet, activist and author Aija Mayrock @aijamayrock all participated sharing posts on instagram for a combined 2.35 million social reach. 

AT&T CEO, John Stankey, called this initiative “Really creative and spot on. You wonder how many small business owners are sitting at the kitchen table scratching their head on this issue right now wishing they had thought about it earlier. Well done.”

Conversation levels around the #SocialForSmall hashtags were extremely positive on Instagram which garnered 100+ shares from many small business owners that generated 6M impressions. Brands like Hello Sunshine and Yelp even shared our playbook to their respective audiences. 

After conducting outreach to over 400,000+ small biz organizations, local chambers of commerce, and SCORE which has 250 local chapters and more than 11 million entrepreneurs mentored, Fullscreen was featured in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Small Business, Straight Talk” April newsletter to 107K subscribers, and achieved over 2.8k downloads of the playbook with 15M press impressions.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Fullscreen, Small Businesses


Entry Credits