Using Facebook To Promote Your Business
Start a Business Page
Facebook allows companies to create pages to promote their business. These pages allow registered FaceBook users to become "Fans" or subscribe to updates from your company page. These pages also have a viral effect in that when a registered user from Facebook becomes a fan on your business page or registers to receive updates from your page, all their friends are notified that they did so and many times their friends will become fans of your business as well. Applications like one of the many RSS Readers that exists on Facebook can be added to your company's Facebook page as well. This allows you to feed information from your blog or company website right to your Facebook page automatically, and saves you the time spent updating your page via cut and paste.
Start A Facebook Group
Facebook allows registered user to join and create different groups. These groups can be based around shared interests, services your company offers, company promotions or activities, or anything you like. Once you set up a group on Facebook, the Groups application page displays your recently updated groups as well as groups your friends have joined recently. Group members can actively discuss your business or industry or can be purely for fun. A great example of a popular "Fun" group is:
I Use my Cell Phone to See in the Dark - For those that can't live without their cell phones - whether it's to schedule appointments, see in the dark, use as an excuse to leave a conversation to "take an important call", figure out the waiter's tip, keep as a clock, take pictures, or simply to use as a device to converse with others - as it was originally designed to do.
I'm not sure if this was started by a cell phone company or not, but it would have been a excellent way to build brand awareness for a company that sells or manufactures cell phones.
Build A Facebook Application
Facebook Applications are programs that interact with the core functionality of the Facebook platform. Applications allow Facebook users to insert them onto their Profile page or Fan pages. A Facebook Application can take many forms. It could be as simple as rotating random pictures or complex integrations with other websites, online quizzes, etc. Below is an example of a successful application:
Sony re-branded a popular Vampires Widget with an upcoming Vampire movie. The application allowed members to "bite" each other to receive points. The application was combined with a sweepstakes contest to generate registrations with a grand prizes of 4-wheel ATVs and $1500. The campaign also featured a banner ad for the movie. The campaign was active for 3 weeks and received 59,100 sweepstakes entries as well as 11,642,051 visits to the "bite" page.
Use Paid Advertsing On Facebook
Facebook has the unique ability to create micro-targeted ads utilizing the built-in demographic information that users have entered into their profile and also by the groups they join. Ads are charged on a ‘Pay-Per- Click’ (PPC) basis. The PPC model means that every time someone clicks on your ad, you the advertiser are charged for that click.
Post Videos On Facebook
Just like YouTube, Facebook allows you to post videos on its site. Viral videos about your product or service are a fantastic way to get a buzz going about your business.