October 30, 2009 | 4 Comments
The next logical step for me in my social media investigation was to see how I can use Facebook for business. Now Facebook and business has never been in the same sentence I ever uttered before. For me Facebook is personal and a way I keep in contact my family and friends. My privacy settings are the highest I can set them. The thought of opening my family and personal life to the world causes me to tremble (perhaps I’m an over protective mother). This is where I started scratching my head and thinking how do the two go together. This is what I found out:
From my investigations people who are using Facebook to network professionally do is firstly create a page (click advertising in the footer of your profile). A page can be business industry, organisation, brand, product, artist, band or public figure. You need to be sure your page is complete and representative of your business image. Some people use these to create what is called a fan page for their product, organisation, public figure, etc.
They then join groups related to industries or interests that could help them to build their contact list. If you did this you would need to take part in discussions (self promotion can get you banned) and become part of the community. Once you start to get to know people you can start to connect.
Then lastly they keep their status updated – as mentioned before there are tools out there that can update the status on all of your social mediums.
There is also the advertising aspect on Facebook which provides some feedback on the demographics of people clicking on your ads. These ads are either CPC (pay per click) or CPM (pay per impression). Facebook has over 300 million users based on information on their advertising page.
To see examples of which pages have the most followers you can see it on this Facebook statistics page.
Starbucks is the only business in the top 10 and even top 30. They have a cool map showing where all the Starbucks are around the world, post events with video and live video chats. Their discussion boards and wall is very active. If you look at their info they link to their website and start off their profile saying ‘Starbucks has an unusually human approach to business’.
Starbucks is a prime example on how to use Facebook to B2C. As for B2B it would be all about professional Networking.
Lastly as far as measuring Facebook goes, once again that depends on what you are trying to achieve. I found this interesting site when trying to find out whether there are any tools for measuring Facebook. If you advertising with Facebook there is information available to measure that, but any other measurement is relative to your objectives.
Personally I think that if you are not a known brand, unless you can create something incredibly viral, you will spend a lot of time building your fan page and getting involved in discussions and groups to gain exposure and followers. I don’t think Facebook would be one of my first options in my social media strategy but once my social media presence was established I would certainly consider it. Maybe I am short sighted, but to me it seems way too much time needed that can be used more effectively on other social media. Maybe, I like my privacy too much and too conservative in that sense. Facebook is now further away on my horizon than when I started to investigate.
However, if you have built your social media presence and need a new channel, I would definitely recommend it. After all Starbucks has 4.5 million followers – now wouldn’t that be nice.