Facebook is one of the most popular websites on the internet. Not only do they have millions of visitors from around the world, users of the website spend hours logged on, sometimes up to several hours a day. This is time that people once spent watching television, movies or listening to the radio.
Since people aren't watching television and listening to the radio like they used to, advertisers and businesses need to explore the new types of emerging businesses like Facebook to promote their products or services. There is absolutely no reason why every business shouldn't be using Facebook to promote their message.
While Facebook is built around millions of individual user profiles, they have created a feature called "Pages" which any individual or business can create to promote any activity they are doing. People who like your company or product, then become a "fan" of the page.
Facebook has a limit on the number of "friends" you can have in your profile, so creating a "fan page" is one way for famous and fame seekers can overcome this. There is not limit to how many fans can join your page on Facebook. Barack Obama during the last election successfully leveraged Facebook to win supporters.
Facebook groups operates similar to fan pages, but one of the disadvantages is that you cannot send messages to all members in the group. Facebook pages allows you to send email notifications to all of your fans and is a great way to communicate with your customers or potential customers.
A facebook page looks like an ordinary user profile, with space for a "Wall" and the ability to upload pictures and videos. There is also a tab for "discussions" which acts like a forum. You can import your blog's RSS feed into the page and even connect your twitter account to the page.
If you have an Aweber account for email marketing you can even add a sign up page to collect email addresses. I have created a fan page for people interested in Living in Bali and you can see I have implemented many of these features.
Facebook also provides some useful date on your fans who join the fan page. This is called "Insights" and you can see things like the location of your fans, language, male to female percentage and age break down. This kind of customer data would usually be very expensive or sometimes impossible to collect and Facebook is offering this all for free. You can of course try to promote your page further with Facebook advertising.
The internet is quickly changing how businesses operate and perform their marketing. Businesses need to learn how to leverage the reach and power of social networking websites, like Facebook to increase their sales and get valuable feedback on who their customers are and what they are interested in. No business should be caught without at least having a fan page set up on Facebook.
Once you have created a Facebook fan page, your next step is to try and get more fans. I have written 10 tips here to promote your Facebook fan page for free.