Mar 19 2009
Organizations joining social networks should understand the commitment of being part of a specific online community. Becoming a member of a social network isn’t as important as listening and engaging in the conversations.
One of the most widely used social networks is Facebook. This network provides an assortment of ways organizations can influence their target audiences. Organizations can garner tremendous benefit from social networking on this site, and building valuable, community-oriented groups, applications and pages in this network.
The Power of Facebook
Facebook, the popular online and social networking community, provides organizations the opportunity to really leverage social media with client relations. Amongst the many social media tools, Facebook currently has over 175 million active users and attracts people 30 years of age and older.
Joining Facebook is easy and inexpensive. And if effectively used, organizations can:
Once organizations become accustomed to engaging in online conversations, they can start thinking about brand awareness as part of their next strategic move. With over 175 million active users, Facebook has a vast network. Organizations can leverage the features Facebook has to offer to help create brand awareness. Adding logos, videos, and more information will help with branding, but the best way for organizations to build their brands in Facebook is by engaging in the community and being transparent.
Facebook can provide organizations a location for dispensing information and communicating to target audiences. This social utility also provides forms of marketing such as the use of applications and community development. .
Applications have to be well designed and have clear value for the community. Without a compelling reason to adopt an application, users will let them fall to the wayside. It’s a crowded application marketplace on Facebook.
Facebook also offers advertising as a business solution feature. Blogger Chris Web believes that advertising is not for everyone, but works well for more focused efforts. He “suggests the way to reach Facebook users is to engage and participate with the community using the tools Facebook provides.”
Additionally, Facebook offers a rating system using “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” signs (similar to the comments section on Digg). This rating system is applied to status updates, videos, photos, links, and notes – practically anything you can comment or add on Facebook. Organizations can use ratings to further receive insights from their stakeholders by judging the sentiment.
Organizations can even use their Facebook Page layout to their advantage. The Advance Guard, a new media consultancy, shared a free whitepaper about Facebook Pages. The paper encourages brands to leverage Facebook by using their platform capabilities. These functionality options allow brands to interact more with stakeholders and actually become a larger part in the community. In addition to creating applications for campaigns, the FBML (Facebook Markup Language) application allows enhanced page customization – enabling organizations to really leverage Facebook’s features.
Facebook represents the many social networks offered. The important part of engaging through social networks is fully exploring and making use of the features these networks provide. Organizations have an opportunity to leverage Facebook for marketing and engaging in online communities.