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Social Media Commerce: Make Friends and Fans on Facebook

You can safely use social media sites, such as Facebook, for marketing and selling. Making friends with strangers can feel creepy, especially on a personal Facebook page -- but your prospective customers are all strangers until you interact with them.

You probably have a personal Facebook page where you connect with friends and family. If you had a personal page long before Facebook allowed business pages, you might have many business contacts there as well.

This is the perfect way to get a feel for how Facebook works. When you post personal items, however, be sure to post them to appear only on the news feeds of close friends and family.

But to build your brand on Facebook, you have to start a business page and start garnering fans. The hard part is moving business friends away from your personal page to your fan page.

In today’s social media, business has become personal. So unless you're new to Facebook, you will have some overlap between your personal and business pages.

If you’re not yet convinced of the power of Facebook, check these statistics:

  • Facebook has 900 million registered users worldwide and about 160 million in the United States.

  • 50 percent of active users log in on any given day.

  • The average Facebook user has more than 130 friends and spends 700 minutes per month on the site.

  • Every 60 seconds, more than 500,000 comments are posted on an estimated 293,000 status updates and 136,000 photos.

  • More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month.

  • More than 55 million status updates are posted daily.

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