Several months ago I posted some of my thoughts on Facebook. Oh how the world has changed a scant few months. Myspace is dead, friendster is basically dead, and Facebook is the all-conquering gorilla of the online world that actually eclipsed porn as the #1 activity on the web. Even more impressive: 50% of all Facebook users check their profiles multiple times PER DAY. With that in mind, lots of people are trying to figure out how to make money on and with Facebook, including the folks that own it. I’ll share some thoughts, as well as a rant or two.
First and foremost: I know there are companies out there that develop and make money with those cutesy little social networking games like Farmville. Strictly speaking, I’m not a fan. I don’t care how many pigs you bought or chickens you traded, and don’t really want it cluttering up my news feed. However, there are a few companies out there doing an excellent job using Facebook to help further their business. They key here is that they don’t push a specific product or try to tell you anything – they use Facebook the way it was originally intended when it was a social tool developed by a few Harvard students – as a fun, entertaining branding tool. The best corporate Facebook pages I’ve seen weren’t even profiles, they were fan pages.
A company with an active fan page that gets updated regularly, has an energetic fan base that posts and replies to content daily and grows constantly is a powerful thing. Again – not to sell X number of widgets through SALE SALE SALE! type tactics, but by developing a relationship with an audience so they look forward to and enjoy your content – and by extension, your brand. We do that through on-the-scene video clips, guessing games, behind-the-scenes photos and more. Comp Cams does an excellent job with their fan page, and I have to give a big tip o’ the hat to Chris Douglas and his crew for the work they do – if you haven’t seen it, log into Facebook and search Comp Cams, it’s worth it.
Now for my rant – having recently been inundated with a few hundred resumes before hiring a few new staffers, let me float this out into the ether: to all of you under the age of 30 hoping to one day gain work in the real world: over-sharing on the internet is not a good idea. I have friends, family and even some business associates that insist on sharing totally inappropriate stuff on Facebook on a regular basis. No, I don’t care when you’re eating chicken. I don’t want to hear your racist political statements, and I don’t want to see a picture of you hammered in the bathroom. Please keep in mind this content lives forever on the web and can one day bite you in the ass. A status update is not a note passed in homeroom, it can’t be thrown away. Same goes for your business fan page: have fun, make it entertaining, but be weary – it will live forever.
To wrap things up, I’ve got a link to a fantastic story about how to best utilize Facebook for business written by Ayelet Noff at at TheNextWeb.com. From tips on increasing exposure to making the most of your content, her story – 10 Steps to Create The Ultimate Facebook Fan Page for your Brand – is a great read. Enjoy.
Until Next Time,