Thursday, June 23, 2011

Facebook is turning into serious business

It used to be that businesses, especially small businesses, just scratched their heads when it came to Facebook. Sure a lot of people were on it, but companies were used to thinking about one main channel for reaching customers: advertising. And Facebook's advertising wasn't exactly the magic bullet -- people were so busy looking at cute kid pics that they barely noticed the lonely paid ads floating over there on the far right.

Consultants have been telling companies for years they can't afford not to be present on social networks. Now, it seems they believe them. It's not just about advertising, they've realized. It's about customer engagement, and building customer and brand loyalty. As former Observerite and social media consultant Jeff Elder says, companies can use Facebook as their own personal media "channel" to play their greatest corporate hits for their followers. He's playing host to a meetup on Monday where he'll be talking more about how companies can harness social media to connect with customers. Social media strategists Jason Keath and Corey Creed are plowing the same territory with a series of Web videos from their Social Fresh Academy training center.

All of life, it seems, is on Facebook now, for good or ill. (Even guys in the middle of causing a 16-hour police standoff). It was only a matter of time before corporations got serious about their presence there -- with or without a scientific way to measure the all-important ROI (return on investment). There's been some talk about Facebook's meteoric membership growth perhaps finally peaking. That's probably coming. But will Facebook shrivel up and go the way of MySpace? I wouldn't bet on it.

10 comments:

Jeff Elder said...

Thanks for the mention, Eric. You make some excellent points. I hope out meetup Monday at Packard Place will connect Charlotte business, media, and entrepreneurs in new ways.

davidt2974 said...

What should be mentioned also, is the small businesses that make the mistake of only using Facebook. No web site, no other marketing...just having their nephew or whoever setup (usually incorrectly) a page and assuming that having 1500 likes = 1500 actual interested potential customers.

Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah, social networking really works.

My wife got a birthday call from a Toyota salesman yesterday.

Like that's going to make a rat's a-- difference where we buy our next car.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Frazier: Sad to see that you have now written something that contradicts yourself - once again. Your last article was pretty accurate when you said that this facebook thing has maxed out! Now it seems that you have gone back to your facebook-addictive drivel. Unfortunate. Let these fools continue to just market on facebook. They have no clue as to the customer base they are missing out on. Don't fool yourself or lie to the public, "all of life" is actually NOT on facebook. Mostly, it's those who don't know how to have a real life. Good day.

Anonymous said...

I don't use facebook, and I have to agree that if a business anywhere is using it as their sole means of advertising, then they must have a bunch of teenagers running the damn place. Makes no sense. Oh well, have fun with your online life!

Anonymous said...

To the Jeff Elder person, it sounds like you are a cult leader that is hellbent on brainwashing people to share your addiction to Face book.
All we can do is just shake our heads at you, and the pitiful people you are conning into living their life through the internet.

komodoman said...

While I strongly believe a social media marketing strategy is important for many businesses, if you can't track the results, it's benefits are questionable.

Facebook is just one piece of a much larger marketing strategy.

I find it humorous that those who denigrate social media as 'for kids only' are using a medium (online forums)that barely existed 10 years ago. Just because you are not using something doesn't diminish the potential impact.

Anonymous said...

I hear Facebook is great for Amway.

Anonymous said...

Kommode: Thanks for your comments but you don't seem to get it. We read the newspaper online, and this was simply and article and we are allowed to post about it. I don't live online, check 20 times a day, and seek sex through the internet via a tool that was originally intended for a way for college students to 'hook up'. Sorry you don't get the big picture.

johndiv23 said...

Well as they say you must stand out in a crowd of 600 Million. That is the amount of users Facebook has approximately. Any Corporations or businesses cannot miss this chance for them to gain more customers. So they really have to let their presence known.

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