If you are not on Facebook, you are missing the biggest invention since the telephone.
MySpace was probably a fad. However, when global companies such as Pepsi, McDonald’s and Fresh N’ Easy Markets join Facebook, you can bet this is no fad. It is the biggest innovation of our lifetimes with more than 845 million users in 213 countries.
Appearing on Entertainment Weekly’s Best of the Decade List, Facebook is so much more than games, online photo albums, birthday reminders and event planning calendars. As of April 2011, 51% of all Americans were on Facebook. Facebook is only seven years old. The invention of the modern day automobile in 1906 did not see a usage surge like this in the first 20 years of production. Facebook ranks with the light bulb among the most pracitcal inventions. Sadly, many people just don’t “get it.” They miss the social benefits and the influence on philanthropy and political power.
Facebook in business
The best thing about Facebook for the business user is the ability to “connect” with your client in a way never before possible. And it is FREE! Facebook vows to keep it that way forever. Because most people use Facebook on mobile devices and computers, you have the ability to broadcast messages, specials and information within your social network no matter where people are. They might be in their cars, at work and/or at public places. The reach effect is far bigger than your circle of friends, as friends of your friends also can see information (if you allow) and things that your friends like may be shared and even relayed to their friends.
Speaking of friends
The fact that Facebook chose to call people in your social network “friends” is a game-changer in business on so many levels. Your clients no longer see you as a business. They see you as a “friend.” Relationships are changed forever by “friending” anyone and everyone. The dental hygienist is now your “friend.” You can see photos of her kids and husband and even read about what she did in the days before she cleaned your teeth. This makes it easier for you to sell her on your services. People like doing business with friends. That checker at the grocery store isn’t just the girl behind the cash register anymore. She is your friend. Advertise something she enjoys, such as a wine tasting trip, and you just might have a new customer. The very use of the word “friend” implies a familiar connection between a customer and a company.
Free and fee advertising
The opportunity to advertise within Facebook abounds from simply promoting your business to your own social network of friends by “posting” on your “wall.” For instance, if you are offering a day trip wine tasting or a sporting event, you can post the event information on your wall and all of your clients/friends can see it. It is possible to sell out your fleet within hours of posting if you come up with a great promotion. With fee-based advertising, you can drill down to a core group of people that live in a certain city and fall within a certain age range. Your paid ad will be viewed by all Facebook users that match the demographics you have chosen each time they log on to Facebook. It is cheap and you can set your own budget.