800 Million Users Can’t Be Wrong
Facebook, the hugely popular social media platform on the brink of going public, has its fair share of detractors.
First, everyone’s news feed kept getting clogged by Mafia Wars and Farmville updates – annoying to those who just want to see Cousin Amy’s wedding pictures. Then they kept messing with members’ home pages and changing the news feed. And don’t even get people started on the forever-changing privacy settings, which constantly expose your inner life to strangers.
Despite these legitimate gripes, the site continues to grow. With hundreds of millions of users worldwide, the sheer mass of Facebook guarantees that it has at least a few years of shelf life left in it.
Unlike Friendster and MySpace, Facebook Adapts
Although critics complain the technology behind Facebook isn’t that special, who cares? Provided that it continues to offer fun and useful new features for its users – including businesses, who are rapidly adopting social media strategies as a means of increasing sales – the site will stay put.
It may not ever again see the rapid growth that it did during its early years – keeping in mind that Facebook as an invention isn’t even 10 years old – but provided it continues to offer modern value to its members then people won’t abandon it as a platform.
At least not until something better comes along. Just ask Friendster and MySpace what happened after complacency set in at their companies.
Do You Need More Than One Social Network?
The major competitor to Facebook so far is Google+, which so far has not been able to convince even its dedicated Gmail users to adopt it as their own exclusive media platform. Until they can, or another so-unbelievably-awesome-that-you-must-switch-now social networking site is announced, Facebook is really the only game in town.
Ironically, Google the search engine has now incorporated social media presence into its algorithm that ranks websites. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account and it doesn’t have a blog, then you should get one – now.
Adopting a Social Media Strategy
Local businesses find that using Facebook and Twitter to announce new products, special “friends-only” deals, and promotions increase revenue in an extremely cost effective way. Businesses that would otherwise be unable to afford print ads or catalogs can advertise their wares faster and cheaper and any savvy Internet marketer will tell you digital marketing is a wave that’s still growing bigger.
Finally, don’t discount the value of establishing personal relationships with your customers in a virtual environment. As an increasingly digital world allows people to live in an isolated fashion, Facebook lets you connect in a low stress, highly productive way.
Simply put, Facebook eases communication barriers. Just ask its 800 million friends.