Facebook is viewed by many as the most social of all social networks, so the idea of participating for business purposes on the social networking giant may seem a bit odd.
People think Facebook is merely a place on which to contact their friends and share their vacation photos. The reality is that Facebook is an excellent platform for making business contacts and creating a buzz around a website, blog, product or service.
There is nothing wrong with using Facebook for business purposes, nor is it against the Facebook terms of service, as long as it isn’t used in a spammy or scammy way. If you are offering a legitimate product and service, something that fills a real need, then be assured that there are others out there who are interested in such offerings.
So how do you create a page on Facebook for business purposes? It is important to keep in mind that Facebook is designed as a vehicle for introducing yourself to others. It is a little less formal than LinkedIn and there are more distractions, so you want to create a message that is compelling and that people will want to share with their friends.
Facebook is not so much about selling your products or services as it is about selling yourself to others. If people like you based on what you have to say, it will create a level of interest that will give you the opportunity to introduce your product and services to them.
Indeed, Facebook has mechanisms that are specifically designed to allow businesses to tell other Facebook users about who they are and what they have to offer. For example, Facebook Pages, otherwise known as Fan Pages, allow people in all areas of business to set up a sort of virtual billboard on the social networking site.
Fan Pages come in six categories:
Local Business or Place
Company Organization or Institution
Brand or Product
Artist Band or Public Figure
Cause or Topic
In addition to Fan Pages, Groups, Promotions and Events are available to business. Facebook Groups allow you to join or create clusters of users that can be based around shared interests or activities, such as the Mac, the iPad or Internet Marketing.
Facebook Promotions are like the contests or giveaways that have long played a role in consumer marketing. Facebook Events are a way to get together virtually with like-minded people in support of a business, brand or product. Facebook also provides a Like button that can be placed on any blog or web page to allow visitors to show their interest and support and to link the sites together.
When someone clicks your Like button, they become a fan of that page and a story appears on their newsfeed, which is distributed to their friends, who are more likely to like your page as well.
If you are promoting a business, then it pays to become familiar with Facebook and to take advantage of the tremendous promotional power that it offers you. Not only can you have fun, but you can get the word out about what you have to offer as well.