Insights & Strategy

Facebook and businesses?

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface

Image via Wikipedia

Follow up of Making your Boss Understand the Fuss about Facebook

So coming back to the point about why companies are on Fb?: Because people/target audience are here and they are more real-life here than they have ever been with any other medium. It has taken the shape of a mass aggregation of social units each with life of their own, connecting with other units. The prominent factor here is that these users have chosen to be Fb and have not been lured by some marketing gimmick.

And once they are here the relationships they form with companies or other users are as good as it would have been in a real life scenario. So a ‘like’ or recommendation here is easily identifiable by the community providing a proof of company’s worthiness.

Companies and Facebook: Why? Companies can set up pages on Facebook for free. It’s an address of their identity on a site. Let me explain considering the example of ‘global village’, a company own a cottage in the village just like their competitors and other users. But this is the only village where people like to live out of their own will even though there are other villages nearby. So would it make sense living in another village where no one comes and does business?

Is the Facebook address an alternative to official websites? No, it is not an alternative but just an acceptance of the fact that the company is responsive to its customers’ needs. People on the network talk about the company when they are happy with their services or even otherwise. So it makes sense to be there and interact with them. However, one should understand that all data (pictures, text, conversations etc) on Facebook is governed by Fb’s rules and regulation. Being a social network it is safe to assume that all of its is in public domain, however, Fb has the right to alter its policy as it has done in the past which could have impact on company’s Fb page jeopardising the huge investment of time and money in supporting it.

Is having a Fb page for your company the new form of advertising? Yes and no. Yes because having a company page would mean users or your community would be able to find you easily and connect with your message. But then they would act and react to that message, which is not only shared with the company but with the whole community at the same time. So the message becomes participatory at that very instant, and the user/community and the company become equal participants on a level playing field. This has implications for customer service, brand management and virtually for every other department of the company.

Does having a Facebook address mean that you have arrived? No, Fb won’t work for your company if it is used as any other mass communication medium where the information is just pushed at end users. Unless a strategy bound interaction based approach is used being on Fb would be futile.

Would websites become obsolete? No, websites are here to stay for a long time to come. What makes a website obsolete in real terms is the lack of interaction with end users. Unless the website is optimised for social users (social media optimisation) it is of no use as it adheres to the one-way flow of communication model.

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