First off, if you have not yet heard of Facebook, thanks for exiting your cave. I'd like to heartily welcome you to the Internet. I think you'll like it here. :)
But seriously, here are some quick stats on Facebook which should be of interest to businesses:
1. More than 53 million active users
2. An average of 250,000 new users join every day.
3. About 34% of users work as professionals, sales, executives, educators or are in technical careers.
4. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook consists of users 25 and older.
Though Facebook started in the student demographic, it's quickly growing out of it. So, my guess is that if you have a product or service offering, chances are that at least a few of those 53 million active users (which spend about 20 minutes a day on the site) are prospective customers of your business. The question is, what do you do about it?
Until recently, only big businesses with big marketing budgets could setup a Facebook account for their companies and/or brands. Examples included Verizon, Walmart, Victoria's Secret and other well known companies. For these brands, Facebook users could become "fans" by adding the brand as a friend (much like they would add a person as a friend). This was pretty cool, but pretty expensive for those companies that wanted to tap into this feature.
Now, any business can create a Facebook business page, which any Facebook user can become a "fan" of. You no longer have to be a Fortune 500 company to afford this. It's free.
Here's how to do it:
Creating A Facebook Business Page
1. Visit this URL: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
2. Decide what the best category is for your business. (Spend a couple of minutes on this as you can't change it later easily).
3. Enter your business/product/brand name and click "Create Page".
4. At a minimum, I'd suggest entering a short description of your business and a website address. This is in the "Add Information To This Page" area. I'd also advise uploading your logo as a photo/image.
5. Click on your business name in the top left corner (it's a hyperlink) and then click "publish this page" (until you do this, nobody but you will be able to see your new Facebook business profile).
6. Finally, and this is important, from your new profile page, click "Add to my products". This way, you become the first "fan" of your business.
Now comes the fun part. Once you've become a "fan" of your business, your friends on Facebook (some of which are likely customers) will see a message in their home page. Something like "Dharmesh Shah is a fan of HubSpot". Hopefuly, some of your Facebook friends will befriend your business. Then, their friends will see a message, and so it goes…
If you want to see a sample Facebook business page, you can check out HubSpot on Facebook . In fact, you can even add HubSpot as a friend (once you visit the page, click on the "Add Product" link in the right column. There are two benefits to becoming a friend of HubSpot: One, you'll feel a positive glow of good karma. Two, you'll have my attention, and my gratitude.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments.
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Originally published Nov 12, 2007 4:12:00 PM, updated July 28 2017