Facebook to Offer $10 Million, 7.4 Million Euros, in Free Ads to Small Businesses

Will educate businesses on how to use Facebook ads but also free tools to drive engagement

By on September 26th, 2011 15:10 GMT

Facebook has unveiled a new program aimed at small businesses aimed at educating them on how to use the social network for advertising and marketing, both paid for and organic.

The social network is partnering with the US Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business for the initiative.

The company will go across the US, organizing events related to the new program.

Facebook will help explain to local small businesses how to set up accounts, create campaigns that target certain areas or demographics, but also how to manage their Facebook Pages to drive engagement with potential customers.

As part of the program, Facebook is expected to offer $10 million (7.4 million Euro) worth of ads for free to small businesses that sign up. Companies will receive a $50 (37 Euro) coupon which they can use to buy ads on Facebook.

The rebate program will start in January next year, after Facebook is done with the roadshow portion.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and we believe that Facebook can be a tremendous tool to fuel their growth and success," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, said.

"Our goal is to give small businesses a boost by helping them find customers the best way possible – through recommendations from friends. We're proud to be working with the NFIB and U.S. Chamber in this effort," she added.

Facebook has been 'quietly' building up potential up to this point when it comes to revenue. While its user numbers are at an all time high of 800 million, its revenue is quite small, only a few billion dollars per year.

But Facebook has been working on bringing in users and getting them to stick around and hasn't worried much about revenues.

The drive to monetize fast is what drove MySpace into the ground. Facebook is taking a much safer approach, but has started accelerating efforts to drive up revenue.

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