Facebook has teamed up with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in an effort it claims will help grow American small businesses and create jobs. Starting in January 2012, Facebook will give businesses up to $10 million in free Facebook advertising in the form of ad credits. The goal is to provide 200,000 businesses in the U.S. with a $50 boost.
Meanwhile, Facebook, NFIB and the U.S. Chamber will provide businesses with webinars, collateral, case studies and tips educating business owners on how reach new customers on Facebook.
“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 Chief Operating Officer, says.
Of course, Facebook is clearly helping itself here, too, hoping to incentivize business owners to move more of their advertising dollars away from search engines like Google and into Facebook’s own network. That said, with Facebook’s now 800 million active users, it’s not exactly a bad move for small business owners to become more educated on how to use the network’s tools to connect with their customers.
The training will include details on using Facebook’s free offerings, like Facebook Pages (essentially, the social network’s business listing service) as well as the Facebook Platform, Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories.
The outreach effort will also involve a roadshow coordinated with state and local chambers of commerce and regional NFIB offices. At the events, experts will train local business owners how to use Facebook to reach customers.
More information about program is being made available on www.facebook.com/smallbusinessboost. This page will detail how to receive the free advertising credits and will list the dates and locations of the upcoming events.