The following is by G. A . “Andy” Marken, President of Marken Communications Inc. He has kindly given us permission to republish his thought-provoking article. As with everything that we publish at AlienBabelTech, the opinions expressed are solely those of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and the opinions of the rest of the ABT staff. –Mark Poppin, ABT Senior Editor
When the Internet was in its infancy, an editor once commented to us that if a person didn’t have an email address, he had no reason to talk with him.
Today, if you don’t have a Facebook page, it’s almost as though you don’t exist. That’s true of individuals; and increasingly, it’s true of companies. That’s because Facebook is the location to go for news, information, ideas, and friends.
In six years, Facebook has gone from zero members to more than 800M (latest “official” count).
Global Momentum – People can’t produce infographics fast enough to keep up with Facebook’s growth. This recent chart was dramatically outdated by Zuck at f8, the organization’s developer conference, when he reported Facebook now has more than 800M “citizens” around the globe and is published in more than 100 languages. Source – pingdom.com
Put in a global perspective that would make Facebook the third largest country in the world, behind China and India.
Because of its size and influence, Facebook has become a major source and resource for businesses. Its rapid growth and global reach is impressive, to say the least.
Mark Zuckenberg, CEO, sees Facebook becoming the “open” resource for individuals, organizations, friends, foes.
Regarding the openness and sharing, he recently said, “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people – and that social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”
It seems like the more the company offers to its users, the more they use it.
Every month, the average Facebook user:
- Has 130 friends on the site
- Sends out eight friend requests
- Clicks Like nine times
- Writes 25 comments
- Becomes a fan of two pages
- Invited to three events
- Member of 12 groups
- 50% of users log on
- 35M update their status
- 20M become fans of pages
- 48% of 18-34 check 1st thing in the morning
- 28% check on smartphone before getting out of bed
- Facebook hosts more than 200M pages
- Facebook hosts nearly 1M local business pages
- 50% of mobile users are active
- 3.5B pieces of content are added every week
- 2.5B photos are uploaded weekly
- 3.5M events are created every month
- Facebook supports 70 languages, 100 with translation services
- 57% of people talk to others online more than in real life
- 48% of young Americans find their news on Facebook
Studies also show that:
- 48% of the people online go there to meet new people
- 32% feel empowered to do something they want to do
- 20% lash out at companies, brands
For Facebook, it’s all about sharing – and selling – so Zuck isn’t big on that privacy thing, “By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.”
Of course, all that transparency is put to good use by Facebook. It was recently reported that they gather an average of 800 pages per user.
Their stash about you includes:
Money Machine – Many organizations – large and small – have rushed to Facebook to have a major page presence even though the ability to measure results have been mixed to say the least. The growth of mobile apps is further stimulating Facebook page growth.
It’s little wonder that organizations large and small have rushed to Facebook to get in on the ad click information and to homestead their own pages.
The top brand pages are:
- Facebook – 35M
- YouTube – 28M
- Coke – 22M
- Starbucks – 19M
- Disney – 17M
While you may be quick to say your organization is no Starbucks or Disney, being present on Facebook or not isn’t an option.
Facebook’s recent SMB survey found:
- 46% were sole proprietorships
- 39% had 1-5 employees
- 77.5% created their Facebook page through Facebook
- 16.5% used a DIY Facebook tool
- 85% created business simply by sharing information about the business
- 62% share content – photos, videos
- 46% customer conversations
- 27.2% customer support
- 22% other
- 47% reported they saw an increase of website traffic from Facebook
The key is being there in a meaningful, profitable way for the Facebook user and you.
The worst thing you can do with Facebook, your website, your marketing/sales activity is be boring. With Facebook that means having your page become stale. You need to gain your fans’ attention and keep it.
Pages for Fans
A good way for almost any organization to achieve this is by using the Facebook Marketing Strategies Infographics (type Facebook Marketing Infographics in your search engine for more hints). Choose a tactic from each category and combine them into a meaningful, results-oriented marketing campaign.
- Fans: Ask fans to Share
- Events: Host a special, limited time, meaningful award activity
- Contests: Crowdsource content – remember people like photos
- Share: meaningful prizes
- Ongoing: Hold a photo contest
- Collaboration: work with other sites
- QR Codes: Use QR code to link to information, locations
- Ads: promote the Facebook page, activities in your ads
Have active page fan participation by having them select winners. Encourage fans to have their friends to visit the page and vote.
Keep your Facebook page fresh so fans come back weekly if not daily. Offer fans prizes for attracting more people to not just Like the page but to also become a fan.
The challenge for all of us when time and money are in critically short supply is to determine how well your Facebook effort is working and your real or intangible ROI (return on investment).
Work in Progress – Measuring the success or shortcomings of social media such as Facebook is an evolving process. Some feel conventional and emerging measurement techniques are okay but. Others believe it is too soon to make an accurate measurement of such a young and evolving marketing channel. However, everyone is working to show they’re experts. Source – Forrester Consulting
Everyone has different criteria and priorities for their Facebook activities; so don’t focus just on the cash register because a sound effort can help you expand your fan base over time or maybe keep products from returning home.
Both can show your success in the short- and long-term.
Page Riches – While there is an ongoing disagreement regarding the value and ROI of social media such as Facebook, the one thing everyone agrees on is that if you aren’t there trying you can’t reap the benefits. How you strike it rich depends on your long-term goals.
In some ways, it’s like panning for gold in the early days of the West. You know it’s there and you just have to keep swishing the pan around to pick the nuggets from the gravel.
# # #
by: G.A. “Andy” Marken
Marken Communications Inc.
Please join us in our Forums
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
For the latest updates from ABT, please join our RSS News Feed
Join our Distributed Computing teams
- Folding@Home – Team AlienBabelTech – 164304
- SETI@Home – Team AlienBabelTech – 138705
- World Community Grid – Team AlienBabelTech