Facebook is by far the largest and most easily recognizable social media site in the world. One-seventh of the Earth’s population is a member, and the Twitters and Google+’s of the world are so far back in the rear-view mirror that they’re not even close in the number of potential customers your home business can reach and keep. Users span all age groups, nationalities and demographics — they’re there for the taking. All you have to do is, well, take them.

Follow this guide to making Facebook an integral part of your online marketing strategy.

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Facebook is far and away the most popular social media network in the world.

Don’t Mix Work and Play

You have a Facebook page. Use it for one business purpose and one business purpose only: to announce to some or all of the people on your friends list that you’ve started a new Facebook page for your business. Then, start a new Facebook page for your business.

Making a separate page is easy, practical, and necessary. Don’t think it will suffice to sprinkle your personal page with a few business updates. It will not. You don’t want potential customers following the link from your business card only to find a status update that contains your really brilliant insight on the new Iron Man movie.

Use the List Function

Take the time to group people up by geographic location, previous purchases, gender, or whatever is easiest and most efficient for your particular product or service. Target information, updates, and invitations as specifically as you can. Everybody gets a million invites and messages a day — separate yourself from the pack by making yours count.

Don’t Spam

Don’t spam. Ever. For any reason. People hate it, it turns them off, and it makes them hate whatever you’re selling. Don’t barrage people’s private message inbox without permission, a good reason, or a personal message. Adding clutter to the section of Facebook that is supposed to be reserved for private, personal interactions by bombarding them with unsolicited ads or bids to hawk something to them is one of the best ways to make sure that person never becomes a customer.

Be Proactive

Find holes in your marketing strategy and try to fill them with Facebook. If you’re selling a lot of widgets in Omaha — or not selling nearly enough — narrow your search to people who live and work there, send them an invitation to like your page, and add a personal message so their first impression of you is one of an honest, actual person who thinks he or she has a product or service that could help them.

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Use Facebook to break customers down into groups and target them in specific lists.

Cross Promote

Just because Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ have fewer users doesn’t mean they’re inferior. They aren’t; they’re just used for different purposes. But they all have something in common — they can be linked to Facebook. Tweet your business updates from Facebook and ask your Facebook users to follow you on Twitter. When you have something that contains a compelling visual angle, pin it to your business’s Pinterest page.

Express Yourself

Facebook lends you a great opportunity to show your personality, your sense of humor — the human behind the online shopping cart and checkout terminal. Most people want to support small, non-corporate entities. Harness that desire by making yourself the digital mom-and-pop store — a real person who’s making a real effort to make his business work and keep his customers happy.

It’s an incredible time to have an at-home business. The power of social media has drawn people together like never before in all of recorded human history. Harness the power of the Internet through Facebook without turning people off by being overbearing — and watch your business grow.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He frequently writes about home business strategy and short-term financial solutions like Billfloat.

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