Facebook has announced the launch of several new initiatives aimed at enticing small and medium-sized businesses to advertise on its site in an effort to boost revenues.
The Business Boost programme centres around a system of advertising credits that firms can access by joining the site. Those on the site with over 50 fans receive £20 of free credits and the chance to apply for a further £60 as they add more fans.
Facebook's UK and Ireland policy director, Simon Milner, told V3 the firm was hoping to encourage more SMBs to realise the benefits that the platform can provide by allowing them to interact and engage with a huge potential audience.
"A lot of small businesses are curious about how to make more of Facebook. They're on the site and have a customer page but perhaps aren't using it to engage with current customers or potential future customers, so we're focused on helping those firm," he said.
"We know from the experience of SMBs that have grown thanks to Facebook that moving marketing into social space can be effective way of growing business by targeting efforts so you know the advertising you are doing and how it's working."
Adrian Drury, lead analyst at Ovum, told V3 that attempting to entice further SMB spend onto the site was a move Facebook had to make.
"Facebook has realised it needs to compete with Google for its AdWords share of the SMB digital marketing budget," he said.
"Digital marketing has become standard practice for SMBs thanks to Google as it provides tools on its platform that makes it very easy for amateur marketers to use.
"Facebook knows it has to look for growth wherever it can and the SMB space is one of those areas."
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.