I'm not as adamant a Facebook user as most. For the B2B kind of communication I'm most involved in I gravitate more toward LinkedIn and Twitter, but I'm interested in changing that, or rather, just adding to my social media marketing mix in a more diversified way with better Facebook activity.
The graphic below came from Fast Company's most recently published April issue. The graphic is a visual representation of current Facebook stats. Not only is it interesting to look at, but if you read the numbers they're pretty astounding. For your convenience, I've also typed out the stats shown in the graphic below the image.
With so many Facebook users you are bound to find others in your niche for business with whom you can connect. Be sure to connect for the right reasons, be human about it and sincere and be sure to use proper social media etiquette (i.e. don't be overly self-serving)
Here's a good book that can serve as a basic intro to Facebook and some of the other major social networking sites:
The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani
Facebook stats from the graphic above:
610,736,920 member profiles – that’s one for every 11 people on the planet
Based on pageviews and users, Facebook is the No. 2 site in the US, behind Google and ahead of YouTube and Yahoo.
Every 60 seconds on Facebook, users send 230,000 messages, update 95,000 statuses, write 80,000 wall posts, tag 65,000 photos, share 50,000 links – and affirm or disparage them all with half a million comments
Zynga, Facebook’s biggest app developer, has 19 games that attract 275 million users a month, sabotaging about a kajillion hours of productivity (Damn you CityVille)
Facebook takes a 30% cut of all revenue generated through its virtual currency, Facebook Credits.
Virtual goods for sale on Facebook make up an estimated $835 million market
Each month the average user creates 90 pieces of content and spends 6 hours, 2 minutes, and 59 seconds on the site.
65% of surveyed teens admit to being “Friends” with their parents, though 16% said it was a precondition for joining the site.
More than 38% of teens have ignored a friend request from Mom or Dad.
Analysts estimate that Facebook pulled in $1.86 Billion in advertising in 2010. That’s expected to grow 118% this year, to $4 billion.
Americans make up 24% of users, followed by Indonesians (6%), Brits (5%) and Turks (4%)
Brands with the most fans on Facebook: Coca-Cola (21.6 million), Starbucks (19 million), Oreo (16.2 million), Disney (15.6 million), and Red Bull (14.7 million)
Lately I’ve been reading The Referral Engine (Amazon Affiliate) by John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing (Amazon Affiliate). The Referral Engine is essentially about how to make your business a highly referable business to more easily generate leads that are likely to close.
I’m only part way through the book, but one of the lessons that stands out is the idea that most business operations fall into two general camps: wired businesses that utilize technology and social media, etc. and more traditional off-line businesses that are more person to person relationship-based. Here’s what I like about what Jantsch is getting across. Jantsch basically says that if you’re a wired business you need to find ways to develop more person to person interactions and relationships, and if you’re more traditional business you need to find more ways to utilize technology to help further connect. A referable business has a good balance of both.
These days one can use technology to help conduct their online brand communications toward the goal of generating and furthering business relationships, but we can’t forget that technologies are tools. There are still people behind the technology, and vice versa, people need help connecting further, farther and faster in today’s economy simply to keep up, so those who typically don’t want to embrace technology will find themselves left behind if they don’t.
However, the commonality here is that people run businesses. Technology can help you run your business and that’s a good thing, but it’s only a tool. Likewise, tools are good, but the real value in any business is the relationships created and maintained between people.
Posted By: Nick Venturella
I read a good post today, Raidious' Three Pillars of Social Media.
Raidious is a content marketing firm. In this post they break down some of the basics your company will want to be aware of with your online brand communications.
Basically, they break it down into three sections (or pillars): content, monitoring and moderation.
I really like what they had to say about content:
"...content is king regardless of the platform. Content is anything you post on your pages in order to interact with your customers. This could be a Facebook post, a tweet, photo, video, link, etc."
That's what I wanted to focus on for this post, content vs. platform.
I adhere to Raidious’ philosophy that the engine behind successful inbound online brand communications is regular valuable content. The content (and backlinks) is what helps your SEO. It matters less which social media platforms you use to distribute your content as long as when you do you’re making valuable connections toward new and strengthened business relationships.
This is also why it’s increasingly important for companies to have a blog as part of their website, so they can own their content. Think about it, what if Facebook ever crashed and your company lost everything that was on that platform...if you own your content you could rebuild a presence more easily on a new platform.
Posted By: Nick Venturella
Inbound Marketing, Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the founders of Hubspot.
If you want to know the ins and outs of what I often refer to as online brand communications, or inbound marketing, this book is a must have.
Hubspot is an inbound marketing software company that happens to offer a ton of informative blogs and other valuable information for marketers looking to continually learn about content marketing and best internet marketing practices. The book offers a similar level of great information from giving a history lesson as to why traditional marketing methods no longer work to defining inbound marketing as a cost-effective way for businesses to leverage the power of the internet.
If you’re interested in getting into social media marketing for your business and practices that will help your business get found on Google then I highly recommend reading this book.
Yesterday I read the Content Marketing Institute’s blog post titled, 12 Reasons to Put Blogs at the Center of Your Content Marketing, written by Heidi Cohen.
Beyond the useful tips in the post there was a line that really stood out to me in regard to blogging as a central piece of your online brand communications strategy, which was...
“From a marketing perspective, you need content at every step of the purchase process that educates and entertains without overtly promoting your offering.”
What I thought was interesting was the idea that content - various forms of communication - often in the form of the written word, is educating prospects leading them down a specific path toward a sale, but often in an entertaining way and with the prospect’s permission, because the prospect wants to go down that path.
What I’m getting at is writing good content that produces results is part art and part science, but more importantly, when it works, it works because we’ve successfully put together information on a subject that a prospect wants to know about and we’ve optimized our content online properly for that prospect to find the info we’ve created that they were seeking.
By creating the content a prospect is looking for and putting it out on the internet in a way that that prospect can find it - with a stripped down simplistic view of it - we’ve essentially empowered prospects to sell themselves.