Hello, my name is Diana and I… am a Facebook addict. My addiction has been going on for well over 6 or 7 years, but it has only been recently that I have discovered another great use (besides the daily mind numbing entertainment from my peers) for Facebook – marketing for your business! FREE marketing to Facebook’s 1.26 billion users, with 699 million of them being active daily.

Facebook offers two options for a business owner – a Business Page and the Facebook Group. The Business Page is like an enhanced personal page with the benefits of unlimited “friends” (referred to as “Likes”), Facebook Insights, ease of posting customer reviews and access outside of Facebook. The Facebook Group is something that I like to describe as a gathering place of some sort…kind of like a Starbucks on a Saturday evening. Not only can your members discuss your product, service or any other topic, but it is an excellent platform for you to promote your business with group messages and postings.

The Other Forty manages a Business Page and a Facebook Group (and yes, this is a shameless plug). Our Page is used for general information along with article postings and event announcements. The Group is used as a networking base for our members/fans/readers to discuss entrepreneurial ideas, processes, and to promote their goods.

I am not going to do the whole pros vs. cons of the Page and Group (because I find that both are very valuable in their own way), but I will share some of my favorite features of both.

Facebook Page

  • Facebook Insights – An analysis tool provided by Facebook that provides fan (user) data, page growth and activity tracking.
  • Privacy for Administrators – Unlike the Group, when you post, the post is under the page name rather than from your personal profile.
  • Visibility outside of Facebook – Facebook provides you with a direct, customizable URL that is accessible to non-Facebook users.
  • Pages Manager App – This app for you smartphone allows you a quick visual of your page by providing access to your messages, feed, photos and Insights.

Facebook Group

  • Privacy Settings – The Group allows control of the visibility and membership of the group. It can be set to public, private or secret. Members are approved or denied by an administrator.
  • Chat/Messaging Function – You can Instant Message (and send a message) a single member, multiple members or the entire group.
  • Great networking/communication platform – The Group wall allows members to post & respond, upload photos, or start a chat (unless you remove this option).
  • Upload (and collaborate) on documents – Administrators and members can post files or share files such as presentations, schedules, and documents.

There are various websites and books on setting up your business page(s) out there, but I would suggest starting with the main source, Facebook. Facebook provides a Business Help page, facebook.com/business, along with various forums aimed at answering questions regarding pages and groups.