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AllFacebook shows some interesting statistics about how Americans are using the Internet. Get this:

  • Americans spend 23% of their time online.
  • Facebook is 85% of that.
  • 36% of the time online is spent communicating through social networks, blogs, personal e-mail and instant messaging.

So what are we to make of all of this? Facebook is the shiznit?

Actually, people go to Facebook to socialize, to hang out with their friends. They aren’t there to be marketed to. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t engage with people in a powerful way about your brand.

While it’s an important marketing principle to go where the people are, it’s also important that you not intrude or you’ll be seen as rude and undesirable to do business with. For that reason, I recommend the following principles when marketing yourself through Facebook.

  • Less is more. Don’t be too aggressive.
  • Engage your followers with dialogue about important principles related to what you do. For instance, you might ask what your followers’ favorite kind of dance shoe is (if you are a dance instructor).
  • Don’t assume your followers are there to see you talk about yourself and your business all the time.
  • Get to know people – like at a party. Just schmooze. Ask them what they’ve got going on. Let people see that you are a real person.
  • Don’t spend all your time there. You’ll never get any work done.

Facebook is like any other marketing channel, only it’s different. The strategy is different than traditional marketing channels like direct mail and TV. Still, when you get right down to it, people are motivated a lot by the same dynamics online as they are off line.

Learn more about optimizing for Facebook.

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