The giant that is Facebook was launched in February of 2004. It is easily the biggest social network online, with over 900 million active users. Having recently floated on the stock exchange, the company is going from strength to strength, and is in a scarily healthy position in terms of where social media is going.
Facebook came from Facemash, a ‘hot or not’ site developed by Mark Zuckerberg while he was attending Harvard University – if you haven’t seen the film The Social Network, this article gives a great breakdown of Zuckerberg’s path from hacker to CEO of the largest social network around. Since then, many innovations have made Facebook what it is today.
So what is Facebook?
Facebook is a social network where you create your own profile, with pictures and personal information – and then you add your real-life friends as Facebook friends. It essentially allows users to keep up to date with what their friends are up to, as well as communicate with them directly. It is simple to use, and the average person spends almost 8 hours on the site per month. Another feature of the site, that should interest you if you have your own business, is ‘Pages’. Facebook introduced ‘Pages’ in 2007, and essentially this allows bands, businesses, and most other things have their own page. So how does that differ from your profile? Well a page doesn’t represent an individual (unless a celebrity), and you can’t become ‘friends’ with it – instead you ‘Like’ it – which does two things. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, it lets all your other friends know that this is a business that you approve of, or like. Secondly, it means that once the page is liked, you will then receive all the status updates that the page posts. Anyone with a business head, and even most without – can see the endless possibilities here.
So now we understand what Facebook is, why is it such a great tool for businesses?
- As previously mentioned, receiving likes on your business Facebook page is essentially online peer-recommendation. Research shows that 78% of people trust peer recommendations, where as only 18% trust traditional marketing.
- When someone likes your page, that basically adds them to a list of people who you can market directly too.
- Advertising your business on Facebook (and social media in general) is different to other forms of advertising. This is because people choose to be advertised to, by liking your page. Traditional marketing is usually a break from whatever they were to watch, or read.
- Having people ‘like’ your page, will benefit you in the coming years when search engines begin to take in to account which of your friends like something on social media, and then gifting those businesses higher search results.
- Being on Facebook shows your company as a forward-thinking and modern business.
- There are over 900 million people to market yourselves to…not bad right?
- It can be used to manage your reputation. Over 51% of mobile internet use is on Facebook. This means that people are sharing with their hundreds of friends their opinions of things they come in to contact with. Are people talking about your business? Probably. Wouldn’t you like to be able to speak to those people and solve the negative experiences, and celebrate the positive ones? Definitely.
- Facebook can be a great way to check out potential employees, to see what they are actually like, as opposed to their immaculate and generic CV.
- Once you have built a following, you can create events on Facebook, and get people to attend them!
As you can see, the benefits of being on Facebook are endless, and really if your business doesn’t create its page soon – it’s going to get left behind. Here at Giraffe, we understand how to optimise Facebook pages, and create content that will generate interactivity and engagement.
Even if you have a page, the chances are you’re not maximising its potential. So get in touch and we can help. Why not email us on email@example.com.