When it comes to marketing, many small businesses believe that having a large following on Facebook is now more effective than a celebrity endorsement.

That’s one conclusion of a new survey from Staples Inc., the office-supply giant based in Framingham.

Staples regards small businesses as an important customer group, and the company continually looks to get the word out to small businesses that it can provide them with much of what they need, from office supplies to high tech products.

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In its latest iteration of this strategy, the company is using its Facebook page to roll out what it is calling the “Staples Push It Forward Contest.” Small businesses that enter are eligible to win $50,000 in digital marketing. To enter the contest, a small business must submit a 75-word essay on the contest site that answers the question, “What would a $50,000 digital marketing push from Staples mean for your small business?” The deadline for submissions is 5:00 p.m. ET on May 31, and there will be three grand prize winners, Staples said in a press release.

In a statement, Alison Corcoran, Staples senior vice president of stores and online marketing, said: “At Staples, we’ve been helping small business for nearly three decades and are taking that to the next level by providing the latest digital marketing tools, tips, expertise, and information through our new Staples Business Hub and the Push It Forward Contest on our Facebook page. The contest is the result of feedback and insight gathered from our Succeed small business community on LinkedIn.”