I spent a few hours on the beach today while on vacation with my family in Pensacola today. I had a great conversation with my wife and one of our Florida customers about integrating FaceBook into local marketing.

Facebook isn't just for teenagers and adults catching up with friends. There is serious money being made quietly on Facebook day in and day out. It fact it's the hottest advertising platform in the country right now, as Google has shot it's self in the foot by deactivating thousands and thousands of ad accounts recently.

But, that's not the whole story. Could you run ads on Facebook? Sure you could, and it may be a good idea for your advertising and marketing tool kit. The ads would certainly be laser targeted if you do it correctly. I would be happy to walk anyone interested in advertising on FaceBook through the process – it's pretty easy once someone shows you how!

However, there's more to effective FaceBook marketing than just advertising. As you probably know, Facebook has become a lot like Twitter with it's latest interface updates, a change prompted by the popularity of Twitter. And these types of news feed type interfaces are a smart local business owners dream.

Why? Because you can build customer loyalty, build a brand, stay in touch with all of your customers easily and quickly, run promotions, stay in front of people's eyeballs, the list goes on and on. The reality is that you can absolutely bury your competition if you employ Facebook marketing correctly, provided you offer a solid product or service.

Your competition won't even know what hit them. The old marketing strategies are dying or at the very least transforming into something radically different. Am I suggesting that you abandon the yellow pages or tradition print marketing, no, but what I am suggesting is that you tie in your print ads with new online marketing methods. You might not realize it now but they can easily compliment each other and your return on your marketing investments can be powerfully increased.

Let's say you're barber and you have print ads that have worked for years. Why not include a Facebook page URL on your print ad and drive traffic to it. Then, when prospective clients are on page you can educate them on your business and why it's better and different as well as capturing them as a potential new business.

Once you've got them as your “friend” on Facebook… well, you can imagine the possibilities. You can run promotions, send them amusing barbershop humor, remind them that it's time for a haircut…wow. How about that? You could completely knock it out of the park. You customer loyalty will soar and you'll never run out of a steady stream of clients. You may have to hire a partner and expand into the adjoining retail space. Or simply enjoy the extra income, if you're happy.

As you can see Facebook is a serious business tool and not some yak-all-day-gossip-site for screaming teenage girls. Well, it's that too. But, you don't have to deal with that aspect of Facebook, unless you sell specialty jeans to teenage girls or something, in which case interacting with that market segment is an absolute must. So, get with the program, update your marketing and reap the benefits.