With over one billion people using the network, Facebook has become the preeminent destination for people to stay in touch with friends, family, associates, and acquaintances. But with so many people on the site, and spending so much time on it (almost seven hours per month, on average), it's also become a huge draw for companies as they try to find better ways to reach their audience. For online businesses, Facebook can be an especially valuable tool, as it lets you draw traffic to your site directly, potentially enabling you to monetize each new visit immediately.

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Mastering Facebook is a pretty hefty topic, and one that I'd recommend you look into. I can give you the basics here, but if you're serious about marketing your site, then you're going to want to be as proficient at Facebook marketing as possible.

One of the nice things about Facebook, and much of social media, is that if works right, you can build an audience without having to pay for it. (Of course, it'll still cost you time. Don't underestimate the value of a minute when you're running your own company!) So while you can buy ads and pay Facebook for exposure, which I'll discuss later this section, you'll want to try to maximize your ability to attract consumers without paying anything at all. That starts with launching a Facebook fan page.

Your fan page is where people can go to find out information about your company, and where you can give consumers updates and content that will keep them interested in your site and encourage them to visit. As people find your page and “like” it (by clicking the Like button), they're basically opting in to receive information from you. That information can be anything from introducing your staff and announcing upcoming sales, to sharing new posts, to uploading videos, to adding photos of your products, to sharing reviews, or even just writing short quips or asking questions to get online conversations started.

As you begin to build a fan base, you can keep your company in front of them often, without having to pay for each interaction. Even better, each person who shares, likes, or comments on any of your posts exposes that post (and your company and fan page) to their network of friends. They're basically helping you market your site!

One thing to remember when using your fan page: Don't just sell, sell, sell. That's not why people are on Facebook. Instead, consider the following:

(MLA 8th Edition)