I’m not a not a heavy Facebook user. In fact, I both dislike and worry about Facebook as a personal communication choice. Still…I did set up a fan page for Marketing Brillo over a year ago.
At the time, I didn't know what I was doing or even why I was doing it. But -- as a marketing professional -- I did understand that I would be able to learn certain things about social media only in the doing.
Very recently I found myself seeking out corporate Facebook pages during research. That helped me understand the important differences – and advantages – that characterize Facebook in the social media arena.
1. Pretty much everybody knows what Facebook is and how to use it – no instructions required. Facebook says 400 million active users spend 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
2. People are accustomed to talking to one another on Facebook, so they’ll talk to you, too. They chat, leave little comments, get friendly with strangers, feel right at home. There’s no other stopping place where exchange happens in quite the same way or to the same degree. Not your website; not Twitter; not email; not LinkedIn, not anything. For chitter-chattering, Facebook beats ‘em all.
3. Facebook adds a personality to your corporate name and a “who” to your brand. Advertising does that, too… but advertising costs a lot. Lil ol’ Facebook offers no better way – at least not yet -- to communicate corporate culture. Who’s stopping by, what sorts of comments are people making, how are you responding? Do you have a sense of humor, are you genuine and open, are you approachable, are you sincere? Only Facebook knows (and shows) for sure.
4. Increasingly, Facebook fan pages are where people go to sniff you out. Websites may contain much of the same “information” as a fan page, but – for millions of daily users -- no other spot has the same familiar "look" as Facebook. Everybody feels comfortable checking you out -- your employees, their families and friends, prospective employees, past and retired employees – plus all of the above in the customer category.
-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo