Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Could Facebook’s ‘Business Boost’ Initiative Benefit Your Small Business?

How does £80 worth of FREE Facebook advertising sound to you?

In May 2012 Facebook launched ‘Business Boost’ with the aim of helping UK small businesses make the most of its advertising platform. In fact, the programme is being rolled out in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, beginning with the UK and will enable 50,000 small businesses (in total) to claim their free advertising kits.

The more cynical amongst us may be saying: ‘Ha! They just want to get more businesses using Facebook – they’re tempting us with a sweetener.’ And of course there may an element of truth in this. But for those business owners currently contemplating setting up a Facebook Page anyway, it’s a win-win situation – and after all, Facebook is a proven advertising medium for businesses of all sizes.
You’ll be able to use Facebook’s free advertising alongside your regular marketing activities such as e-commerce, social media, direct mail, PR, and banners.

So how can you claim your goodies?

Well for starters you will need to have attracted a minimum of 50 fans to your FB Page to get £20 of free advertising credits. In addition, Facebook is offering an extra £60 worth of free ad credits to companies and businesses which add a further 100 fans to their Page over the course of the scheme. Kindly note, your business must be UK-based to qualify.

The Facebook Business Boost programme has attracted the support of the British Chambers of Commerce, who are running business breakfasts in six major UK cities this summer: Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Sunderland, to offer free practical advice to business owners face-to-face.

A word of caution though: When you set up your Facebook Page it must be done through the ‘Local Business or Place’ channel. Use any of the other five possible categories to set up your Page and you will not qualify for this promotion. Unfortunately, if your FB Page is already established under one of the other categories you will not be able to change it. This presumably is a reasonable precaution to stop businesses changing their status simply to get their hands on the freebies!

Successful entrepreneurs these days are recognising the need to use a combination of online and offline media such as blogging, banners, PPC, social media and PR in order to drive their businesses forward, rather than remain reliant on one or two marketing activities.

If you want to participate in the Facebook Business Boost promotion you can sign up over at the Facebook Marketing Page. Facebook is also offering a range of live webinars to help you develop your marketing skills and maximise your business or brand’s potential.

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