Twitter to give $1 million dollars to small businesses for #SmallBizSat

Twitter is giving away credits for its advertising products to small businesses.Yesterday Twitter announced that is will be giving $100 in free credits to the first 10,000 American small businesses that apply and are eligible. When they ran a similar scheme with American Express back in February, they brought thousands of news businesses into their advertising products.

In a blog post, Twitter said that the successful applicants could use the credit to purchase Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts services to help boost their online following:

“With Promoted Tweets, small businesses can extend the reach of their Tweets to a broader audience…Promoted Accounts can also speed up the growth of a loyal follower base for a small business.”

Twitter believe that their ad products, which are critical to the revenue of all social media companies, can be very powerful for small businesses:

“Since we launched Twitter Ads for small business in February, thousands of U.S. business owners have used Twitter advertising to quickly gain new followers, reach new customers and drive more traffic.”

Indeed, they give two case studies. One is a clothing brand which used promoted Tweets to drives sales and bring in new customers, while another is a bakery who reached hundreds of new customers in their area using the Promoted Accounts tool.

The weekend’s $100 initiative is part of Small Business Saturday, which American Express help found, and has been running since 2010. It will see the social media giant give away up to a $1 million in total.

Twitter has though set a few conditions in order for a company be eligible for the $100. As well as being based in the US, they have to active on Twitter (you can’t just start an account in order to apply,) and a new advertiser. It’s good news all round as Twitter as get potential new customers, and look charitable, while small businesses get to try out new advertising for free.

Small business Saturday is this weekend on, November 24th. It has a Facebook page with over three million likes, and is encouraging small business to “Rally Customers with emails and social posts”. For small, community based brands; social media can be a really cost effective method of reaching new customers, and navigating around larger competition.

Keep up with the conversation on Twitter this Saturday by search for the #SmallBizSat hashtag.