Why is Facebook so important for your business?

Nearly all small, medium and large businesses are using Facebook as a successful tool for advertising their brands and interacting with current and prospective customers.  Once set up you can reach far more users than you have been previously.

A Facebook page is free to set up and can be prepared and uploaded in less than five minutes, it does not require any previous web development experience, although some of the advanced features are slightly harder.

Firstly you need to visit www.facebook.com/business/pages and click create a page button. You need to specify the category your page will fall under for example local business or place, company, organisation or institution, brand or product, as well as the name of the page.

If you do not have a Facebook account already you need to create one to establish the page, but if you have one already you can use this profile for the business page. The obvious advantage of using your personal profile is that you can tap into your friends list to encourage contacts to become fans of the page by liking it. You can also promote your page by using the import contacts button to send automated emails to people in your outlook and email contacts lists, and sharing it to the wall of your personal profile.

When you hit 25 fans on Facebook, you can create a customer URL for your Facebook page for example facebook.com/citibusiness making it a lot easier to post the page, link to your email signature, business cards, website and advertisements.

Finally you need to add some basic information about your business; you can link to your business website and fill in a basic about paragraph. Click the edit info link to add detailed information on your business. From the same window, you can also click on the manage permissions link to regulate who can see your page and whether users can add content to the page. Just like a personal Facebook page you can post status updates, photos, links, video to the wall, and you can add application from Facebook directory for things like custom HTML content, polls, contests and RSS feeds. That’s your Facebook page complete!

Don’t forget you need to start populating it with content and adding to it regularly to keep fans interested.

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