Why use Facebook?
In our ever-growing need to connect with one another, facebook provides us a platform for self-expression and a place to converse. According to Shama Hyder Kabani, author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing, research shows that people use Facebook primarily to showcase their identity. People show us who they want to be perceived as.
This could be great for your business. Your goal would be to attract people to your website, gain trust and gain visibility. This leads to sales! Shama says you want to position your brand so people want to make it part of their identity.
What does “friendship” mean on facebook? Having more “friends” means you have a bigger pool to network with according to Shama. Thisdoes matter. However what does this mean exactly? The word “friend” might just mean someone you know. So, who should you friend? This is the most common dilemma on facebook. What does friendship mean among a network of associated contacts and how should we continue? Some people reserve this for people they have met offline while others keep it open. If you are using facebook to market your business and attract new people, Shama says you don’t want to close off your network to only those you know. She reserves her profile for close friends and family. Her page, on the other hand (www.facebook.com/ShamaKabani) is open to all. She uses it to build her professional brand.
You should keep your profiles personal and create a page for your business. An example of a niche online business page can be seen here. These guys run a small software company and do a good job at getting followers in their niche because of their page. Pages are more customizable than groups, and you can have an unlimited number of fans. The best part is that Google indexes pages. All fan pages are public. Your page will show up in the Google’s search results if someone searches for your company or for keywords that you cover in your page. “If you are looking to build a brand and market your company, you will want a fan page, hands down,” says Shama. It allows for a lot more freedom and visibility when building your Facebook community.
Celebrities, athletes and famous people have fan pages. Ask yourself what your goal is. Is it to connect with your audience (readers, viewers, clients and prospects)? Then, create a page. You can see Shama’s page (www.facebook.com/ShamaKabani). She says that it has close to 13,000 likes and has given her an immense platform to connect and communicate with people across the world. Her company, The Marketing Zen Group, also has a fan page.
What should be the goal of your facebook fan page?
- Building up your fan base. This is determined by “likes.”
- Keeping interaction consistent and high. You should be landing in people’s news feeds.
- Driving traffic and leads to your website. Attract people!
Let’s face it. The online world is social. Kids are forming habits now online and this will shape everyone’s future. According to Julie Szabo and Darren Barefoot we have entered the Conversational Era. “The connections we make with other people online are real,” says Darren. People date online, meet in real life and get married. This is a new kind of democracy. From the very beginning of computer networking, the Web has been a place for social interaction. That’s why we call it social media.
Blogs, social networks like Facebook and microblogging platforms like Twitter foster communication, sharing and collaboration. Anyone with an Internet connection can join in this massive, global online conversation. Blogs and social networks invite participation. Audiences become creators and strangers turn into friends with just one click. This is a communication revolution.
Media consumers talking back to the media creators or becoming media creators themselves shape the new democracy. All you need is a broadband Internet connection. The media is on its way to being democratized. The rise of citizen journalism shows a changing model. An audience now takes an active role in collecting, analyzing, reporting and spreading news and information.
Social media is all about community. Like-minded people are able to find each other. Niche communities exist for all kinds of interests. It’s also about collaboration. You can find mashups (remix of songs, video, and text from a variety of sources), social bookmarking, wikis, and social networking. “This assumes trust and good faith,” adds Darren. The web has lost its hostile, unfriendly and unsympathetic reputation. It’s more about cooperation and goodwill.