Facebook is a giant.
It is the second most popular website in the world with only Google topping it for the number one spot. It has become the social networking megalith that all other social networking sites long to be. Members can communicate with each other, learn more about what is going on in their local area and around the world, and as of late, promote their business as well.
With the addition of Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook advertising, Facebook is now saying it's OK to market your business using their platform. This greatly broadens opportunity for business owners as they race to try to figure out how to best capitalize on this new marketing medium. Before you decide to join them and race headlong into Facebook marketing, there a few things that you should know first to help make your efforts as profitable as possible for you.
First of all, just because of the fact that there are more than 400 million people on Facebook, it does not mean that you can just go blasting your marketing messages out freely in hopes of playing the "numbers" game and attracting a few clients from the masses of members. This is a social network, and as such, you need to have respect for the members of the site. Utilizing the tools that Facebook has provided, namely Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook advertising is the way to get your business out on Facebook. Take some time to learn how each of these aspects of the site work and follow the rules. Remember, this is Facebook's website, not yours. If you go against the rules laid down by them, you could find yourself banned, and quickly.
Secondly, If you are interested in marketing your business, keep in mind that what you do on a PERSONAL level can affect you as well. If your goal is to represent yourself in a professional manner, then pictures on your profile of you posing in a bathing suit, smoking a cigarette, while doing shots may NOT be the way you want to be seen. I know, you want to have your business life AND your personal life…well, that's great, but this is the INTERNET. If you post it, it will live there, and oftentimes for YEARS. Be mindful of how you represent yourself on the internet as those you are trying to do business with you will often "check you out" first. Keep communications, pictures, and posting professional and you should be fine.
Finally, don't assume that Facebook marketing will be your ultimate panacea for success. Like all marketing initiatives, it takes time and diligence to make it work. Build a Fan Page, work to add valuable content to it, and promote it through your emails and other marketing endeavors. Facebook is merely one more way you can utilize the internet to build awareness of your business and hopefully gain new clients. Done correctly, it can be an effective tool to build your email list, pull traffic to your website, and increase the interaction between you and your clients and prospects. Done incorrectly and you could end up wasting valuable time and money and even risk annoying those same folks whom you want to attract.