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What's the right way to push your business on Facebook?

Pop quiz: What's wrong with this e-mail?

SUBJECT: Niala Boodhoo suggested you become a fan of Niala Boodhoo.

BODY: Niala became a fan of Niala Boodhoo on Facebook and suggested you become a fan, too.

OK, so this isn't an actual e-mail, but we got something similar to this recently, which sparked today's column: How to properly promote your business on Facebook.

The biggest problem with the e-mail: You shouldn't create a fan page for yourself unless you're a celebrity. If you're a business, the fan page should be about your company, not you -- even if you're the only employee.

No. 2: When you suggest that others become a fan, you should be aware that the suggestion comes from the person who created the fan page. That's not a problem if you, as a business owner, have created the page. For example, if Bridget created a Facebook fan page about our column, it would read: Bridget suggested you become a fan of Poked.

But when you make it all about yourself, it just looks pompous.

So here are a few tips to make a fan page on Facebook for your company:

First, use Facebook for yourself before you use it for your company. You should understand how it works before you dive right into promoting your business.

Second, make sure the entire page is filled out correctly. Have someone else read it through to check for typos, grammar and punctuation. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than a fan page with errors.

Finally, once you've created the page, it's important to know your fan base and how many messages they can tolerate. We're guessing that you send more messages to their inboxes than they care to read, so remember that you risk alienating and annoying people when you send too many.

A way to achieve good balance on communication is to mix up the style. Don't always send messages. Do a status update or post a note or link on the fan page's wall. That way, your messages show up on a fan's News Feed.

We're fans of you, really. Become a fan of us at our new Poked Facebook fan page, where you can ask any netiquette questions. Or you can go old school and e-mail us at Poked@MiamiHerald.com

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Great post!

Thanks so much for sharing this valuable information with us. We need to know the right way to promote our business to the next level, it doesn't on facebook, twitter or business meeting, this is common sense.

Great food for thought! I look forward to your next article.

Best regards,

Susie Cheng
www.twitter.com/susiecheng

Facebook and other social networking sites are good advertising media. But these can also be harmful and give a bad impression of your business. Since it reaches out to more people than the traditional media, it can make you business prone to more criticisms. Be careful of the information you post.

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