So who's not heard of Facebook by now? Even my mother is using it now to keep up with her grandchildren. But it's sort of skipped a generation (that's me by the way). Odd since I'm on the computer all the time. Well, that is getting to be less and less true--Facebook is no longer just for college students (it's heritage), nor even the grandmothers out there.
According to Facebook, there are over 400 million active users and more than half of them are on Facebook every singe day. More than that, over 1.5 million businesses are on Facebook. What? Did I just change subjects--not at all. These are everything from small mom and pop operations to huge international corporations. If you think about it, it was inevitable. 400 million possible customers have a way of attracting businesses.
So how do you go about 'getting on Facebook' if you're a business? First you need to understand the differences between three different kinds of entities on Facebook: the profile, the page and the group.
Profiles are for individuals only. These are the accounts that your kids and parents have. Okay, maybe you too. They are for people to stay in contact with other people that they know or meet online. You communicate with each other and share things like photo's. It is social interaction in the 21st century.
Groups are for collections of people that organize around a common interest for discussions related to that interest. They also connect individuals like profiles, but with that topical focus.
Pages are for companies and organizations. Unlike profiles, pages are publicly viewable without logging into Facebook. Instead of 'friending' someone like you would in your profile, people can choose to be your 'fans'. These pages are there for you to promote your business, brand, message, what ever you decide. You publish updates that your fans can see.
You can setup yourFacebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and begin gathering fans. Just think, 400,000,000 possible customers!
On a note of caution, think about why someone would want to be your fan. It's probably not because they are wanting you to bury them in promotional messages. Think about what they do want and use your page for good, not evil! (Okay, I'm getting silly, but you get the point (I hope)).