With more than700 million members and even a popular movie based on its origin, Facebook is one of the most popular Web sites on the planet. If you're a business, that's a whole lot of potential customers. How do you tap this market? And how can you focus your marketing push to special segments of that market? We're going to explain what the Facebook business page buzz is all about, how to get started, and how you can make the most of your time.
That brings up a fundamental question. If you're a business or organization, why would you want a Facebook business page? Isn't Facebook just for telling people how you spent last weekend? It's true there's a lot of wasted time spent on the site, but your schedule doesn't have to suffer the same fate. Played right, you can use the site to access a bigger market than you've ever seen before. Plus you'll build your network and expand visibility by targeting specific demographics.
Before we get into how to do that, we should explain what a Facebook business page really is. At the most basic level, it's a profile of your company or product. In that sense it's very similar to a personal profile. Only instead of being a person, you're referred to as a page as you interact with the Facebook site. Don't expect to be able to casually explore individual profiles the way you can as a person. You're a business, and while you want to build individual relationships, Facebook permissions only allow businesses to see the Big Picture, and individuals see and interact with the business on their terms.
Getting started is easy, and you have a few options. If you already have a personal account, you can create a business page from that account. This is great for small businesses and sole proprietorships. The down side of this for larger organizations comes when the person who manages the page leaves their job. Your Facebook presence is suddenly adrift. Better to create a personal profile based on a position in the organization rather than a name, and build a business page off of that instead. That way, access to the page is not controlled by a single individual.
If you're ready to create your page, don't. Not yet. First, let's take a hard look at who's going to be responsible for it.