Facebook recently announced its plans to offer £4.2m worth of free ads to start-ups and small businesses in the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. In an effort to help start-up or small businesses, Facebook will give each £80 credit for launching an ad (not without giving themselves an advertising boost in the process!)
There are approximately 62 000 000 million people in the UK, out of which about 30 000 000 actively use Facebook. So, the age, gender, education and interests of half of the Brits are virtually one click away from companies that want to run an advertising campaign on this social platform. This data makes Facebook a very powerful advertising medium for businesses, capable of targeting audience very precisely and by multiple criteria.
You can target by location, language,education, work, age, gender, birthday, and relationship status, as well as likes and interests. (Facebook 2012). To this, add the possibility of giveaways and online sales promotion and you can build a very powerful campaign as well as a ‘fan-base’ of people who receive updates whenever you post them.
However, this tool comes at a cost, and you can choose to pay either the cost-per-click (based on how many people click on your add) or cost-per-impression (based on how many people see your ad).
So, an advice for small businesses: try it while it’s free. For some businesses it works better than for others – although it sounds like advertising heaven, some businesses may find that there is not enough ROI to justify having a Facebook campaign in place.
Facebook also plans a series of events in the UK this year, dedicated to small businesses on the topics of Facebook business pages and how they engage customers. Further information is available at http://www.startups.co.uk/facebook-to-offer-free-ads-to-small-businesses.html