It seems that it was only yesterday that Facebook reported that they had 500 million active users in their database, but they are now reporting over 750 million active users.
It seems that it was only yesterday that Facebook reported that they had 500 million active users in their database, but they are now reporting over 750 million active users. You cannot help but wonder how many members the company boasts today, even after a recent announcement, but you can assume it is a far greater number, since the company has experienced rapid growth since its exception. In order to monetize the website, the company started experimenting with an advertising platform called Beacon that used user data to endorse a product based on a users status update. After users and privacy groups fired back, the firm recanted the program. Today, the advertising platform is similar to that of Google Adwords, but it is far easier to target users based on their demographic information, geographic location, and even interests. If you worked in consumer marketing, then this is an obvious marketing goldmine, but there has been some skepticism from manufacturers to adopt the technology for B2B. Many companies are likely to write it off because it they think there is only value for B2C, and perhaps they don’t even have the capacity to get into social media marketing channels like Facebook.
Why Use Facebook?
The important thing to remember is that of those 750 million active users, some of them work for the organizations that you serve. I feel some companies have caught on to this, so I’ve noticed some manufacturers such as tool and die companies that have added a Facebook as a communications channel. I’ve also observed a surge in alternative energy companies and wind turbine consortiums joining in on the social sites. So how can your company use Facebook to build a relationship with a customer? The answer is quite simple really, because this is the age of information. Consumers and businesses alike are turning to social searches for products and services. They are seeking videos and images of the products and services they need so they can determine who will be the one to sell it to them. They want to know what suppliers are credible so they turn to the Internet to identify and establish credibility. Facebook can also be used to provide direct customer service through the chat and message features. I understand that technology isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ll explain how to get a presence in the social age.
Creating a Facebook Page
I think many agree that most companies have finally joined the web, but they only have a website without much functionality to it. All that you really need to do is go to the Facebook website and search for ‘Create Page’, but you must have a personal account to do so. That is because Facebook will need an administrator under their umbrella to all content on the page. After you click the little blue button to get the process going, it is very straight forward. You don’t even have to be very computer literate, and it only takes a few moments. You first create the title and what will become the URL of the page, and then all of the information. The information section is pretty straight forward. You select your type of business and industry, fill in the established date, enter the website information, and then provide a simple summary of the company’s products and service. Pretty simple I think, and an easier means to have an online presence than a website, as far as I am concerned.
I speak from experience that social media is a great way to make contacts in the business world. As a graduate MBA student at the University of Michigan and a marketing employee for a Michigan based parts manufacturer, I have found that Facebook follows all best practices in terms of marketing. Because the company I work for already has a website, the next step was linking that site to others around the world. Paired with SEO and integration of social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, it was easier to gain a slightly bigger piece of the search engine pie, but most importantly, it gives our clients more elements to interact with. In order to inform potential clients about what we do, we posted videos of the CNC machining process on YouTube. If someone visits the site, there are numerous links to this media outlet, including a widget toolbar that was recently added to the website. People are turning to the web for information and they need to be able to pull it from your company.
For those deliberating on whether or not Facebook is a viable marketing resource, now there is another player in the picture. This is pretty good evidence that the world of technology moves faster than we can all think, and so you have to get on the bandwagon early and ask questions later. At this point, Google+ is only available to those who got an invitation, and at this junction, there isn’t an implications for a business to advertise. In fact, it appears that they are current banning any type of promotion, but I haven’t heard a confirmation on that. However, in the future I can guarantee that business we’ll be able to have a presence on the site, so if you want to be cutting edge and be where your competitors are not, Google+ may be able to offer your company a second chance at being an innovator.