With the popularity of “The Social Network” and over 250 million active users, most people in the modern world know about Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. However, I think lots of us over-30 folks might think it’s something for the younger crowd, or that it’s only for socializing and not for serious business. I’ve got news for those of you that think this: although it took me a while to come around to it, I have to admit that Facebook is really useful, even for business-type guys like me.
One Facebook feature I like is that I can get almost all the power of the site without actually going to www.facebook.com. For example: I post on my Tumblr which automatically tweets for me, and then my Twitter updates my Facebook. Everyone – from my college buddy Forrest in North Carolina to a business associate in Baltimore – can find my post in their Facebook feed, share it with others and (best of all) they can comment on it. When they comment, I get an email notification and can even reply back by simply using my email client…all without ever going to Facebook. As much as I love Tumblr and Twitter, Facebook definitely makes it easy to reach the widest audience with the least amount of effort.
This “reach large audiences with minimal effort” aspect is important. Facebook is well-integrated with almost every other social networking app that there is; viddy, foursquare, social camera and any other app worth its weight. On top of that, blogs with comments sections powered by disqus have Facebook integration. So, when I comment on or ‘like’ an article, it all ends up in my Facebook feed along with my party pictures and foursquare check-ins. Facebook becomes a one-stop shop for people who want to follow and share in my digital life.
The event planning tool is also an essential for business (I use it to post all of my personal and professional events). This tool makes it easy to schedule and invite people to events, allows people to easily RSVP, and provides a forum for party-goers and party-throwers to communicate beforehand. Schedule changes and mass communications are a breeze since you can easily send a single message to all invitees. On a small scale, Facebook events are handy in helping me anticipate how many pimento cheese sandwiches to make for my Kentucky Derby party. The real difference, though, is when you use it for professional events. When planning corporate events with an open bar (like we threw last night) it can make a HUGE difference in cost to have a solid picture of your headcount beforehand. People can easily share the details about your event with their friends, so you can reach an audience that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. Every time a new person RSVPs to your event, their friends see a notification and visibility for your event extends.
Although this post references my personal Facebook page, all of these ideas and principles can be applied to a corporate page. These touches can definitely give your business a very “human” social presence. I encourage you to make Facebook a part of your adult life and your business – it’s not just for kids anymore. Social networking is serious business!