Facebook is the largest personal social network in the world. So why should any company bother doing any business networking elsewhere?
1. The Stats speak for themselves.
It is always a good thing to go do business where people are. Facebook has now passed the 500 million user milestone. If this growth keeps continuing soon Facebook will become the world’s first truly global social network. As a business you need to be there. Facebook is essentially becoming the new Web.
2. Establishing your brand on Facebook helps to humanize your brand – where is the Love?
Using Facebook people get to see what sits behind the brand. You need to be a part of the Facebook community. If you are considering developing your presence on Facebook it is where plenty of your future prospective customers are to be found. There is plenty of need for corporate and professional sites but with Facebook Pages this is changing fast but this will no doubt shift in the coming years as web traffic and individuals spend more and more of their time on Facebook. So it pays to build your community on Facebook. This in turn can drive your fans towards your company’s website.
Ignore this at your peril. There is a shift online and as a business you need to pay attention.
3. Trust and the “Social Glue”
Online community is a term you keep hearing over and over again. Facebook is a social connectivity tool and this is how people really like to interact and connect with one another. Many people use Facebook email to send mails to their friends now without bothering to even log in to their own personal email account. You can share, share, share with Facebook and this is what human beings enjoy doing. Online community is the best place to engage with people in an online space and it therefore makes complete sense to build a presence in Facebook to tap into your community online.
Research over and over again points to the importance of word-of-mouth and peer-generated content which comes from a community of practice or interest online. In creating your brand on Facebook you are giving your online fans the chance to Like your brand. Messages and special offers to the people who Like you on Facebook can be targeted specifically to those people who are interested in your product or brand. This is a great way to build up loyalty with your customers and offering special offers.We are also living in an attention economy and all the attention is currently being focused on Facebook.
Your brand needs to make decisions to shift time, money, effort and resources into creating an online presence and figure out the right way that builds relationships and drives traffic back to your website. It is not a wise tactic to dismiss the notion of online community for your business. According a recent Fast company article Neuroeconomist Paul Zak has discovered, for the first time, that social networking triggers the release of the generosity-trust chemical in our brains. And that should be a wake-up call for every company.
4. Social networks like Facebook are driving traffic online.
We are at the cusp of a major shift in the direction of diverted Web traffic this change in direction of Web traffic has only come about with social networks being created in the last few years – Facebook in particular. BF (before Facebook) it was MySpace and orkut. Social Networks like Facebook are beginning to challenge Google in the traffic stakes. Facebook is becoming the web’s top source of traffic. The speed at which this change is happening is lightening fast and this may explain why many corporate brands are slow to adapt to the change and the pace of change as it happens.
5. Customer Service
You can use Facebook to manage your online reputation, engage customer awareness by engaging with your customers in Facebook and targeting customers with specific messages and Facebook promotions. It can be used to advertise with targeted advertising.
6. Social networks like Facebook are disruptive.
Facebook is currently disrupting advertising, media, one-to-one and one-to-many communications, and online search. Search is changing and becoming much more social. People buy things online based on their friends recommendations. Search Vs Recommendation is sure to be a battle ground between the the two main Web players of Google and Facebook. Recommendation is a smarter type of search. Facebook has a lot of data on people and is steadily building up a rich picture of who people are, what their interests are and what they like. People trust their friends just ask Dr Love.