Facebook – Why should I use it?

Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.  It is the largest of the networking sites.

Why use Facebook?

With over 400 million active people on Facebook not only are your friends on Facebook, so are your prospects, your customers, your JV partners… and, of course, your competitors. You need to be on too.

With the explosive growth of Facebook, it is becoming a social networking software development platform of its own. Members can access a wealth of applications made for all purposes, and most of them are available at no cost. Facebook is already the number 1 photo sharing application on the web, draws more than twice as much traffic as its major competitors combined together. Facebook’s event application invited three times more people than other leading focused websites.

How to use Facebook

Set up a personal profile. Since people like to know the person behind the business, this is a good way to interact with them.  Make sure you set your privacy settings correctly.

For most businesses, Facebook Pages (distinct from individual profiles and Facebook groups) are the best place to start. Pages allow businesses to collect “fans” the way celebrities, sports teams, musicians and politicians do. There are now 1.4 million Facebook Pages and they collect more than 10 million fans every day, according to the site.

Facebook pages can have unlimited “fans” whereas personal profiles can only have 5000 friends. Your Facebook Fan Page can be a part of your Search Engine Optimization strategy. Why is that, you ask? It’s because Fan pages are indexed by search engines. Profiles are not.

Some basic rules: Buy-buy-buy messages won’t fly. The best practitioners make Facebook less about selling and more about interacting. Engage with fans and critics. Listen to what people are saying, good and bad. You may even pick up ideas for how to improve your business. Keep content fresh. Use status updates and news feeds to tell fans about specials, events, contests or anything of interest.  And remember to also post to your personal profile, not all your friends may be fans.  Keep them up to date with what is happening as well.

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