With roughly 1.15 billion users, Facebook (FB) is the world’s largest social networking platform (based on monthly active users), so it’s no surprise entrepreneurs and businesses are tapping into the network to find new ways to make money. An audience that big presents near limitless opportunities to build a brand and conduct commerce.

These five tips will get you started on the path to making money on Facebook.

Set Up a Page

Your first step to becoming financially successful with Facebook is to set up a professional page for yourself or your business. Pages serve the same function as individual profiles in that users will go to them to see pictures, read news updates, and gather general information about your business. But unlike regular profiles, Pages have additional features and tools that allow you to promote posts and analyze audience data.

Target Your Ideal Customers

Facebook offers entrepreneurs some of the most powerful ad targeting tools around, thanks in large part to the copious amount of data they collect on their billion-plus users.

When you’re ready to launch an advertising campaign, you can fine-tune your preferences to select the ideal customer you’re looking for. You can target customers according to their age, location, gender and even their interests, such as favorite music, movie, or TV show.

Make Some Really Great Software

If you want to go the nontraditional route when it comes to making money with Facebook, you could try making software so great that the company decides to buy you out.

Facebook is constantly spending millions – and sometimes billions – of dollars acquiring smaller companies like WhatsApp and the Oculus virtual reality technology.

What software will Facebook buy next? It’s hard to say, but chances are they’ll be interested in anything that can lead to a more connected global society.

Build a Community

Since your company’s posts will appear right alongside your target demographic’s personal lives, building a community is a great way to build up your brand awareness and loyalty.

You may be tempted to post nothing but links to your products and services, hoping people will just magically convert and buy whatever you’re selling. But if you look at the Facebook feeds of large companies like Starbucks (SBUX), Nike (NKE), and Mastercard (MA), you'll see that they’re not just promoting their products — they’re sharing ideas, music, and other entertaining posts that captivate their followers.

When using Facebook for your business, be sure to include plenty of posts that help build your brand identity and define what your company is all about. This will keep your customers coming back for more.

Sell Things on the Marketplace

If you want to sell items on a small scale (i.e. you don’t have a “business” per se), then you could always turn to the Facebook Marketplace. The Marketplace allows anyone to set up listings for items they’re trying to sell, not unlike Craigslist or a traditional classifieds section of a newspaper.

As you might expect from Facebook, the Marketplace offers excellent segmentation tools so that people looking for whatever you’re selling will know how to find it.

Go ahead and sell anything on the Marketplace: clothes, old CDs, furniture, cars. You may have a veritable treasure trove of profitable junk on your hands.

The Bottom Line

Facebook has not only revolutionized how we form and develop social connections, but also how businesses interact with and market to their customers. 

There are plenty of ways to start making money on the world’s largest social media network. Now, all that’s left is to find something people actually want to buy.

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