I got this crazy notion to start a Facebook page for my coffeehouse, once it's open, and using the Facebook to announce specials, maybe passwords that get a 5% discount on something, updates, etc. Lots of the kids, and the parents too, I guess, use FB and would most likely add the shop as a friend. That way, there is instantaneous notification of any status change.
I see nothing but an upside here, other than having to keep the page updated.
I created a listing for an event awhile back and noticed that Facebook asked if I wanted to advertise it on the sidebar. They do something similar to google, where you pay per click and can set a maximum that you want to pay per day. The advantage that Facebook seems to have is that you can control the demographics of who sees your ad, i.e. 30-40 yr old females in Nashville, TN who have "coffee" somewhere on their profile. Guess that comes from having all our personal information in a database...
As far as just a regular "fan" page or "group," I would think that you will only get out of it what you put into it. There are plenty of companies that have Fan Pages on fB that I've joined, but most never update them or post announcements. On the other side of that is posting too much - basically twitter spam.
We created a quiz that tells you what drink you are. It's been a great tool for publicity that's fun for our fans. And it only took a couple of hours for one of my more facebook savvy employees to create (not including drink photos that we had already taken).
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