More than 250 million active users
More than 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older
Average user has 120 friends on the site
More than 8 million users become fans of Pages each day
More than 1 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
More than 10 million videos uploaded each month
More than 1 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) shared each week
More than 2.5 million events created each month
More than 45 million active user groups exist on the site
More than 50 translations available on the site, with more than 40 in development
About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
With the kinds of numbers that can be found on Facebook, don't you think your small business could benefit from establishing a presence? You may not have millions flock to your page, but 1/4% would be awesome! Let me do the math for you...that's $625,000 active users. Staggering, isn't it?
Facebook offers an opportunity for businesses to have a place to get to know their customers through the means of a Fan Page (completely separate than the page for your personal stuff and friends). I'll warn you, it is not for hard selling. People do not want that anymore than they want someone on the street shoving flyers in their face to buy the newest gadget, and you could potentially ruin your business image. Social media is about building relationships. A fan page is about building relationships with customers or at least people that are interested in your business, which is a start. It's also about building your brand and your image, which is important for business.
Benefits of Facebook for Your Business
1. Branding (brand awareness)
2. Customer relations
3. Driving traffic to your site
4. Finding new customers
5. Consumer retention
6. "The Viral Effect"(word of mouth)
7. Notify customers of events like markets and craft shows
So now that your interest is sparked, how do you get a fan page? Well, while it's not necessary, I recommend starting with establishing a personal facebook account/page. I have very little info on my personal page, and I only have a couple of "friends". I like my privacy. I then have a fan page (which needs a little work) that has business info. They are connected but look independent to other users. Your private info is not revealed on your fan page for business.
Start by creating a Facebook Account here http://www.facebook.com/. It's easy and quick. Now, you are ready to create a Fan page for your business. Go to this site (click here) for step by step directions with screenshots to learn how to make your fan page. Then check back here to learn the next steps - how to use your Fan page and building your brand's image.