In the past, there were many methods for promoting on Facebook; however, Facebook is clamping down on Terms of Service (TOS) violations. As a result of -- and in response to -- people creating profiles that do not reflect authentic peoeple but brands, products, services, or fictional entities, Facebook has replaced business profiles and business groups with Facebook Pages. Pages are entitities not unlike profiles, and are becoming more and more like profiles. Like profiles, Pages have walls, updates, videos, events, and all the rest. Additionally, they interact with peoples' statuses in much the same way that Facebook Profiles do.
When creating a Facebook Page or Group or Cause, it is important to remember that these Facebook Apps are community-oriented and need to be fed and watered. The tools support community, conversation, and collaboration and many people develop these Facebook Pages as if they were a published brochure instead of a dynamic, developing, conversational community.
These communities are needy, more like a blog or like Twitter than anything like a page. A MySpace profile can be deceloped more like a proper web page, but Pages offer the opportunity to share Events, Conversation, Links, Discussion, Photos, Videos, etc. While they don't have to be completely open and interactive, they do need to be responsive and there needs to be a certain level of maintenance and content creation committed to the Facebook Page.
There is a lot to know about the Pages, however, and there are many 3rd party tools and services that can be used to expand brand, including doing Facebook Ads and the like, to help promote the brand.
In order to best promote "fan" membership of a Facebook Page, one needs to be creative as to the reason why being a fan is worthwhile. Some easy "gifts" can include exclusive content, Facebook-only offers, "live" interviews, access to celebrities or notables, etc. When an online brand reputation
One of the things that makes Facebook Pages better than either Facebook Profiles or Facebook Groups is that the content is not hidden behind the Facebook Authentication Membership Wall. More like MySpace profiles and groups, which are completely visible and partially accessible when not yet a registered member of the site, Facebook Pages are one of the few "rooms" in the mostly "gated community" of Facebook proper.
Facebook Pages can be indexed by search engines like a normal web page and found using simple keywords through Google, Live.com, Ask.com, and Yahoo!
One of the beautiful things about Facebook Pages is that Google loves Facebook more than just about any other web site (Google loves Twitter more) so brands that have a Facebook Page are often surprised by how quickly the Page turns up on the first page of search.
There are other ways of promoting brand on Facebook, which can include cross promotions with other Social Networks (have all of the networks aimed at the Page), organic SEO strategies, Facebook Ads, as well as incorporating a strong blogger outreach campaign aimed at brand promotion.
However, that said, it is hard to start a Facebook Page and we generally recommend starting with a Facebook Group. It is much easier to prospect new memberships, invite new members, and get everything started from zero, so we often start with a Group, build that up to over 1,000 members, and then have the Group converted into becoming a Facebook Page, which is what we have the connections to do. We call it the one-two sling-shot punch!
The advantage of a Facebook Page is that you can use it as a proxy web page for marketing and a proxy online community in support of your brand instead of developing or hosting your own; however, aside from being a "fan" of your company, brand, product, or service, there is little incentive, or "gift," associated with ever returning to your Facebook Page unless you spend some time and resources developing unique content for the Page -- Facebook Pages support photos, events, videos, message boards, a wall, etc -- as well as for responding to questions, queries, comments, and the like.
One of the strong advantages of smartly-but-aggressively developing messages, updates, photos, videos, and exclusive content is that the New Facebook Pages have evolved into me a lot more like the Original Facebook Profile, which includes status updates that scroll down each fan's status update stream in exactly the same way their friends and family's statuses update.
This is a very powerful method for brand messaging and distrobution. One of the past lacks of Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages is that it was too easy to join and forget, becoming a Group member or a Page fan and then never seeing hide nor hair of it until there was an explicit admin message to all members -- a member update.
Even so, with Facebook Groups in the past, one was penalized by success because when a Facebook Group grow above 1,000-1,200 members, the ability to send a message to all members was revoked.
With the new Facebook Pages, it is easy to keep "fans" engaged and updates, through the regular status update stream that all users; unfortunately, as I mentioned above in the section about Facebook Groups, it is easier to proespect and collect new members on a Facebook Group and a Facebook Cause because it is very possible to easily invite personal Facebook "friends" to Groups and Causes. When creating a brand profile on Facebook, it behooves one to develop all three: Facebook Page, Facebook Group, and Facebook Cause.