Traditional business practice was based on the principle of developing a great product or service and then finding customers to buy it. Then came the marketing and promotion so as many people knew about your product or service through advertising, promotion, stores, etc.
The same kind of principles have applied to online business.

The internet and marketing strategies like Google become vehicles to put your wares in front of potential customers. Now Facebook is being seen as a business marketing strategy. With more than 80 million active users, it's the sixth most trafficked web site in the world, and the second most popular social media site globally, just behind MySpace's 100 million plus users.

Ean Jackson, a university professor and angel investor, and president of Analytics Marketing, believes that the Facebook profile is changing from the younger social communicators to older people and businesses who are anxious to use Facebook to generate business.

So what can Facebook offer business? Mostly an opportunity to directly communicate with a pre-selected target audience and using tools like banners, applications, quizzes, photos, discussion groups, social ads.

Facebook has become very effective in promoting events, product launches, special promotions and news announcements. And there are now more than 20,000 Facebook applications, with more than 400,000 developers and entrepreneurs.

The International Internet Marketing Association (IIMA) held an event on Facebook for Business last May, with another one coming up next October, and have published a guide on how to use Facebook for business. Some of the tips from the guide include the following:

• Use Facebook for a soft-sell, not a hard sell
• Connect Facebook with your blog or contests
• Offer something of value and expect nothing in return
• Use Facebook to develop your brand
• Make your Facebook the focus of the human side of your business

The ultimate business strategy for Facebook may be to creatively and skillfully developing a community of fans and followers who will act as viral agents to both promote and support your business.

Author's Bio: 

Ray B Williams is Co-Founder of Success IQ University, and President of Ray Williams Associates, companies located in Phoenix and Vancouver, providing leadership development, personal growth and executive coaching products and services. Ray has been a CEO, management consultant, trainer, speaker and executive coach for the past 30 years.,