A growing number of businesses are making Facebook an indispensible part of hanging out their shingles. Small businesses are using it to find new customers, build online communities of fans and dig into gold mines of demographic information.
“You need to be where your customers are and your prospective customers are,” said Clara Shih, author of “The Facebook Era” (Pearson Education, 2009). “And with 300 million people on Facebook, and still growing, that’s increasingly where your audience is for a lot of products and services.”
The article quotes a number of entrepreneurs using Facebook in creative ways but it makes what I consider to be an essential point
“We can advertise all day, but if we don’t give them what they want they will not be a fan anymore,” said Mark Seeley, a marketing associate at Art Meets Commerce. “Even though we represent the shows as marketers, we don’t want to constantly tell people to buy tickets. You talk to them like you talk to your friends on Facebook.”
I don’t have a Facebook page – preferring to hang out on Linkedin for professional reasons and picking up the phone for those personal ones – but I did dapple with it for a while. I became irritated with the number of organisations using the application to simply send spam messages asking me to ‘buy’ their wares. Why on earth would I link to an organisation who sees the communication as purely one way? If you want my allegiance (on or off line) then give me a compelling reason to link to you. Inner specialness simply isn’t a good enough reason any more when there are over 300 million people out there vying for attention.