In 2009 social networking overtook email as the number one activity that people spend time on while using their computers. Let that sink in – if you aren’t promoting your business on Facebook, you are missing out on the most popular trend on the Internet. Unless you choose to support your efforts with advertising, all it costs is a little time. Because you must have a personal account in order to create a business page, this move was clearly targeted at small business owners. But 65% of the top 500 e-tailers on the Internet already have a Facebook page.
Facebook now has 400 million users, 50% of whom log in daily. There are 60 million status updates each day, three billion photos and five billion Web links, news stories and other pieces of Web content shared each week on Facebook. As a result, it has actually surpassed Google in total U.S. visitors for the third time this year.

All that content is one of the explanations for Facebook’s relative growth compared to Google. People are relying on other people for getting their content versus going to look for it themselves.

Another great feature about Facebook is “groups.” It is better to join an existing group than to start your own, as there are already thousands of people with like interests that are already members of groups. For example, if you are a garden center, join the group, “Id rather be gardening”. From there you can post information about your fan page.

Facebook is set to allow developers to create shopping apps directly on merchants’ fan pages. This means that fan pages, which were once mainly marketing channels, can now be used as a point of sale, if merchants are willing to pay a developer to implement the apps. Even if you don’t want to sell products via Facebook, you can use your fan page to promote coupon codes and provide links to your ecommerce webstore. To be successful on the internet, you need to be where your customers are, and clearly they are on Facebook.