I’m always talking to people about different ways they can expand their brand or business on the web. If you’re not using social media, you are missing out on potential customers for your business, or potential readers for your blog. Sometimes businesses put too much thought into whether or not they need a Facebook page. Let me make this really clear: the answer is yes, no matter what. Why? Because you need to stay in touch with your customers and they are spending more time than ever logged in to Facebook.com. Just in case you’re still on the fence, here are five reasons you probably need a Facebook page.

  1. You have a blog – If you have a blog, you need a Facebook page. Unless you are blogging only for close friends or family, you want to gain readers. One great way to do that is to tie your blog into Facebook. You can automate publishingof your new blog posts to your Facebook. Those posts then show up in fans feeds, and if they like them, hopefully they will click over and read them. The more fans you have, the broader your reach.
  2. You run an online business– For the same reason that you have a blog, if you have an online business, you should have a Facebook fan page. Customers love the interaction and instant attention that they can get from a company without having to dial a 1-800 number. And again, if your company site has a blog, you should feed it into the fan page so that customers will see the new content. There are many companies on Facebook doing this well. They post tidbits, photos, and other news from day to day and get a great response.
  3. You run a local business– There are many small local businesses that have not yet bitten the bullet and setup a real website. This could be because they do not have the money, the talent, the resources, or they just do not think that they need it. Some of these companies are instead opting to use a Facebook fan page as their main page. I have seen it on many commercials and even on business cards in lieu of a standalone site.
  4. You have more than 5000 friends– There are a lot of you out there. I have no idea why anyone who isn’t on television, radio, or acting in movies would need so many friends, but a lot of you do. When this happens, the way to go beyond 5000 is to setup a Fan page, where there is no limit to the number of friends that you can have. I have seen some opt to setup a 2nd profile, but this becomes confusing. Just create a fan page instead.
  5. You are a celebrity– Perhaps you’re a television star, movie, music, or even a budding internet celebrity. If you have any “status” at all, chances are that you have a large following of fans already. Make it easy for them to connect with you. There are already some celebrities that tweet, and there are some that man their fan pages.
  6. BONUS: You want to separate personal and business – Depending on what type of business or website you have, you may want to keep your Facebook Profile separate from your business contacts. This allows you to share photos of the kids, funny stories and anecdotes on your profile page, while sharing info more relevant to your business on your Fan page.

However you use Facebook, it is a known fact now that it can be an important part of expanding your reach, your business, and your fan base. If you decide to do it, make sure you do it right. Integrate Facebook into your website; dedicate someone the task of checking the page several times a day for comments from fans. And, post interactive material to get fans talking. This way, they may share it with their friends, which may draw new fans.