Facebook makes the claim on its advertising page that there are 400 million active users. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to learn how to use Facebook for marketing your business. In fact, businesses are giving Facebook more priority over their corporate websites and frequently point to a Facebook page instead of a URL! With over 400 million users, though, you can imagine how many hundreds of thousands or millions of Facebook Pages there are. While Facebook recently confused this process by creating Community Pages that occasionally take priority over the official pages, businesses need to be proactive in order to give their business pages maximum visibility.

How do you do that? Here are some steps:

1. Use a profile photo that tells your followers who you are and what you have to offer: If you’re a single store location, it might even be advisable to put your store hours on the photo. Add URLs to other websites and social presences. Facebook’s limitations on photos vary; some say that they can successfully upload a 200×600 image whereas others claim that 180×540 is the current limitation. Experiment and see what Facebook allows you to do.

2. Choose a name for your page that your customers can identify with: Don’t be cute or silly. This is your brand’s page. Use the name of your business, and if necessary, add the city name as well.

3. Use a vanity URL that your fans may guess to find you: There have been many companies specifically sought out on Facebook by simply typing facebook.com/businessname. It is surprising that some of the business names actually pointed to personal profiles and not the business profiles. Instead, reserve the business URL for your business page. You can allocate a vanity URL by going to facebook.com/username.

4. Give your followers information about you: Fill out as much information as you can in the About box under your profile and on the Info tab, and make sure to offer keyword rich text so that your Facebook presence shows up for search engine queries for your business.

5. Personalize your page: One of the ways to do so is to create a Facebook page with FBML, Facebook Markup Language. This entitles you to add custom tabs. You can create tabs to invite users to connect, let people find your store locations, or offer exclusive features to your fans. Whatever you do, keep the engagement level high.

6. Tell your customers where to find you! You probably have a web presence, right? Make sure to encourage your followers to find you on Facebook. Add links to your Facebook profile (and any other major social presences) in your email signature. When an individual becomes a new Fan, it shows up in their news feed, so others can also find out where they’ve been — and this could potentially have a viral effect. Once you’re found, the rest is up to you. Being actively engaged is a critical part of success on Facebook. Once your fans are there, make sure they stay by giving them reasons to regularly participate.

Tamar Weinberg is an internet marketer who specializes in social media strategy. She is the author of The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web and is Mashable’s Community Support & Advertising Manager. Follow her on Twitter at @Tamar and read her blog Techipedia.

If you want to discuss some of these strategies, please drop us a line or call Hawthorne Media Group at 503-238-4024. Thank you!