Facebook offers free ads to businesses

Facebook offers a limited boost to businesses
Facebook offers a limited boost to businesses

Facebook is doing its bit – albeit in a small way - to help small businesses in the recession with the new Business Boost programme launched today.

The Business Boost programme is a series of initiatives for British businesses to access the 30 million UK users on Facebook, and the 870 million users worldwide and has been launched by Facebook today. The key initiative is a free advertising credits programme to help small businesses reach potential new customers. British businesses will be the first in Europe to access the credits programme, with countries across Europe to follow soon.

The three-part scheme follows research published by Deloitte in January, which found that the growth of Facebook and mobile applications in recent years has already contributed an estimated £2.2 billion to UK GDP and generated 18,400 jobs in small businesses across the country.

The Boost programme will be rolled out to 50,000 businesses across Europe, starting in the UK today and following in France, Germany, Spain and Italy later this month. Businesses with over 50 fans can automatically register for £20 of credit, with the chance to apply for a further £60 as they increase their fanbase.

Facebook has also teamed up with the British Chambers of Commerce to take its expertise on the road. Marketing and growth experts are giving practical advice, face-to-face, at free breakfast workshops in six cities this summer. The roadshow has already visited Birmingham and Glasgow, with further events planned for Manchester, Sunderland, Sheffield and London.

The initiative echoes the Google AdWords free advertising initiative that has been running in the UK for some years, but unlike the Facebook initiative there's no requirements to have a fanbase first and Google offers £50 straight away.

To take part in the Boost programme, find the full British Chambers of Commerce schedule visit: facebook.com/FacebookMarketingUK