Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected.   Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.

Why be on Facebook?

facebook-friendsFacebook is the 4th most popular website in the United States.  As a business owner, you need to understand it.  There are more than 175 million active users on Facebook – and it is not just for kids anymore.  In fact more than 1/2 of Facebooks users are outside of college, with the fastest growing demographic being those over 30 years of age.  What do those big numbers mean?  600,000 new users every day.  I live in a small town of 14,000 people outside of Minneapolis – we have over 7,000 Facebook users!  (These numbers are based on advertising demographics from Facebook.)

Did you know

  • The average user has 120 friends on the site
  • More than 3 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
  • More than 4 million users become fans of Pages each day (why shouldn’t they become a fan of your business?)
  • If Facebook were a country, it would now be the 8th most populous in the world.

To grow your business, how can you not be part of Facebook?  Chances are very good that your customers are on Facebook.

How some organizations and businesses are using Facebook?

  • Local coffee shops use Facebook to promote events and specials directly to teens in the area
  • Youth Pastors are going to where the youth are – on Facebook – rather than making teens come to them (and they are starting powerful conversations)
  • Businesses are building discussions around services and how they can improve
  • Non-Smoking initiatives are building a community around their mission
  • Retail stores are promoting new products to their Facebook followers first – creating an exclusive community of passionate customers
  • Do you have other ideas?  Here is a list of the The 30 Most Popular Pages on Facebook.

There is a strategy for your business to use Facebook to connect with your customers or potential customers.  The key word here is STRATEGY.  Without a strategy, you just have another marketing tool to maintain with no results.  Out of all of the social sites we are going to talk about, it is CRITICAL that you understand Facebook.   Even if you only use it for personal use, it is a platform that many other social sites are based on.  We will talk about how other sites such as video sharing, photo sharing, and blogs can be integrated into your Facebook page.  For now, lets get back to the basics.

ACTION ITEM ONE:  Facebook is an exciting way to promote your business, but first you need to establish an account and get your personal page set up. This requires an email address, but is very simple to do. Go to www.facebook.com and follow the steps. Once you have your page, make sure you go into each of your settings (upper right corner) and set your desired level of privacy.   All Facebook pages default to a public listing and anyone will be able to access your personal page and information. The least restrictive is “Everyone”, and the most restrictive is “Friends Only.”  One of the reasons Facebook is so popular is that it can be very secure.  Your personal page is different from a business page.  So for right now, focus on creating your personal page.

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