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Is Your Business Face on Facebook?

It was just a little over three years ago when I first presented to our global executive staff the coming importance of social media for business. It’s amazing to me how fast social media have become so integrated into our personal and business life.

This was very obvious last week when {complink 10867|Facebook} made a number of sweeping changes to its site. They were so traumatic to some people that they became a lead news story on our local TV stations. Even the news teams were complaining about how the changes caused them anxiety.

It’s going to be interesting to see the impact these changes have on the business use of Facebook. Facebook is telling us that we will “like” the changes, which will make it easier to comment on posts and the information provided by advertisers based on our “liking.” It also claims the modifications will make it easier to find the information we are looking for.

Personally, I do not use Facebook for business or much on the home front, either. I’m big believer in blogs, LinkedIn, and Twitter (#almaagAvnet). {complink 577|Avnet Inc.} does have a Facebook page to describe what we are doing in the communities we serve, but we are still struggling with the impact of it. What are you expecting, if anything?

Will all these changes help us do our jobs better? I really don’t know, and only time will tell. I do know that Facebook has hit 800 million users, and it just recorded a one-day record of the most visitors in one day at a staggering 500 million. So we need to pay attention. Again, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Facebook changes and how you feel they will affect your business or job function.

38 comments on “Is Your Business Face on Facebook?

  1. AnalyzeThis
    September 28, 2011

    For Supply Chain Professionals, I'm not sure how relevant Facebook is. While I do think it is smart for Avnet to have a company page on Facebook, I'm sure that isn't where you are primarily interacting with your customers and partners.

    I think in certain industries, Facebook presence is very important. Certainly if you work with the teenage demographic or have a mainstream consumer product.

    But outside of your marketing/PR folks, does Facebook really help us do any of our jobs better? I would say, “no,” and actually I shudder to think of the amount of time wasted during work hours due to Facebook. There are many Facebook addicts out there.

    Now of course LinkedIn is different: I've found it to be a great recruiting and hiring tool: even if you don't directly post jobs on LinkedIn, it's useful to use it to check up on people, do some casual head-hunting, etc.

    Facebook can go ahead and make all the changes they like but I will continue to not have an account there. Perhaps there may be a time where it would be appropriate for me to buy advertising on Facebook, but other than that, I live a blissfully Facebook-free life.

  2. electronics862
    September 28, 2011

    To some companies, social networking tools  such as Facebook are a valuable means for their employees to spread the word about the company. Businesses should use online networking tools like Facebook to reach out to potential customers, especially given the free advertising such sites offer.

  3. Taimoor Zubar
    September 28, 2011

    I agree with you DennisQ that Facebook may not be such an important tool for Supply Chain professionals, however social media websites do give lots of flexibility to use them for your own benefits. Basically, you know that your customers and partners are there on Facebook and it gives you a chance to be with them and to get to know them more. Just having a Facebook page is not enough – you need to tweak it to get the most out of it. For instance, surveys and polls are an important tool that comes with social media. You can set up your own surveys and polls and get your customers and partners fill them. There are several other uses as well.

  4. Taimoor Zubar
    September 28, 2011

    The recent changes on Facebook have been pretty radical for normal users where the updates and “newsfeed” have gone bizarre, privacy seems to have vanished and stalking on other people's activities has become a lot easier. Surely, a large majority of people were disgusted with these. As far as pages are concerned, I don't think there has been much change on that. I own a page myself and was able to manage the updates and other activities easily. Hence, the changes are disturbing for individuals, but companies who own pages are spared this time.

  5. Himanshugupta
    September 28, 2011

    @DennisQ, all social platforms are limited to a specific departments of a company. As you rightly said that facebook is a good tool for marketing/PR but not so much for the technical or job hunter folks. Same goes with LinkedIn, great tool for headhunters but limited use for technical folks. For regular technical folks, google is the best way to search and find use information. LinkedIn can be better to join technical groups and start the discussion but for day-to-day job activity we still have to wait and watch for any other platform. 

  6. Himanshugupta
    September 28, 2011

    I never used facebook so much that i could notice any much difference. There is always too much information (or mundane update) put on facebook that its hard to keep a track. I never understood why and how can people share every sneeze.

  7. Daniel
    September 29, 2011

    Maag, am also not using Facebook, but in business perspective it have many values. Social media networks are a common place where almost all techies have their own accounts. They may not bother to browse over company’s website for info gathering. If we are providing the same data or news, in social media networks, it can be get wildly populated. I think now a day’s presences of company profile in social media networks have more value addition than a press advertisement.

  8. saranyatil
    September 29, 2011

    Yes i do feel Facebook can make big changes to business where advertisement is a key activity to increase their sales. For eg we can take the Apparel and footwear market where Facebook can create a great impact in promoting the brands.

  9. prabhakar_deosthali
    September 29, 2011

    To me Facebook is for passing time , for fun, for networking but not for any serious business use. I am not sure how many people take the Ads appearing on their facebook walls seriously enough.

    In those 500 million users of the facebook there may millions like me who have subscribed to it casually and visit it may be once in a month!

  10. Anna Young
    September 29, 2011

    @ DennisQ, I agree. Business wise  Facebook isn't where you can interact with your customers and partners. It is relevant with PR/marketing for businesses.

  11. JADEN
    September 29, 2011

    Well, I see facebook with the new feature as comprises multiple uses for businesses and organisation.  Businessess create pages which enable members to upload comments, posts, and new feeds.  Similarly, businesses are taking advantage of advertising through facebook networking.

  12. FLYINGSCOT
    September 29, 2011

    Not sure how the changes will affect us yet as although we have Facebook interface to customers we don't generate a lot of activity from it.  Maybe our business does not attract the usual Facebook audience.  We are in the semiconductor business.

  13. Wale Bakare
    September 29, 2011

    I quiet agree that Facebook social networking is just for relaxation and catching funs and jokes with friends and colleagues  on trending issues. On that, purpose of its creation has been reached .  I think, its next face to innovate should be integrating businesses of all levels activities into it.

    Feeling, if football events- live streaming of footies matches, goals scoring updates and after-match replays all these, i think would take Facebook to a different level in social networking scene. Your thoughts?

     

  14. eemom
    September 29, 2011

    @ prabhakar_deosthali  I totally agree.  To me facebook is more of a social networking (thus the name) rather than business networking site.  I wonder how many of the 500 million users are students.  I can tell you that in my world, it is mostly teens and pre-teens that communicate on facebook.  Adults just post status of where they are and what they are doing (why they would do that, I have no idea). I do not consider facebook to be a serious business tool.  Linked In seems to have emerged as the site for business contacts and networking.

  15. prabhakar_deosthali
    September 30, 2011

    Thanks EEMOM for being in the same boat as me.

    There are some attempts by some corporates to commercialse this social netwroking site.

    I request those corporates to leave something for just fun!

    May be like DO NOT CALL registry for mobiles , we may be required to have “NOT FOR BUSINESS” tag on our memberships on facebook or such social networking sites to avoid the onslaught of those commercial promotion ads.

  16. maou_villaflores
    September 30, 2011

    I disagree to you EMMOM..Facebook can be use for marketing strategy. Even Samsung and HP is using Facebook for their new product launching review and some other strategies to get the attention of the people and also to get feedback as well.

  17. eemom
    September 30, 2011

    I feel some use it because it is so popular and they don't want to seem archaic.  I just wonder the true value they receive from it.  I know our school uses it to publish events and get feedback from parents, but email seems to work the best.  Most ignore the facebook posts.

  18. eemom
    September 30, 2011

    I can see Facebook having some benefit in product launching and review.  Do you know how much benefit they are getting from it?  As I posted before, just because they participate in it, does not necessarily mean that they are realizing the benefit we seem to think is possible.

  19. maou_villaflores
    September 30, 2011

    Yes, im working for a famous printer producer. Through facebook we saved money in marketing since the advertisement is less cost but you can reach different markets in different GEOS compared to the traditional marketing and advertisements.

    We interfaced our CRM with facebook and it help us with our product survey and competitive analysis. It shorten our data gathering for our product development planning.

     

  20. maou_villaflores
    September 30, 2011

    But if you are aware of the billion active number of facebook users..you will surely appreciate the value of FB on business.

     

    Big business even developed apps for FB just to reach their target market with less cost.

     

  21. eemom
    September 30, 2011

    That's impressive.  You are the first I've heard seeing such a benefit from facebook.  That is great to hear

  22. Ashu001
    September 30, 2011

    Al,

    Frankly speaking so far Facebook has'nt been a big-big hit with most businesses.

    The reasons are basically three-fold.

    One,Most Businesses don't percieve Facebook to be a serious medium for advertising(especially of Boring products).

    and Two,the tremendous potential for their ads message to get diluted by mixing within completely different categories of ads 

    and of course the fact that when a majority of users log on to facebook they are not going there to view/access an advertising message but rather to chillout and hangout with friends(and find out what they are upto).

    To change these issues will require a lot of differentiation and dedication on the part of the Facebook team.

    Are they upto it?I personally don't think so and Only time will tell.

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

  23. stochastic excursion
    September 30, 2011

    It's true that Facebook serves as a medium between people interacting socially rather than on a professional level.  Successful sites and pages within Facebook vie for user attention based on their contributions to popular culture, generally.

    This isn't to say that Facebook couldn't market its technology to more specialized communities.  This is something I've seen google do in site-specific searches where you see “results powered by Google.”

  24. Ashu001
    September 30, 2011

    Maou,

    You could have done most of that through the Internet(and any other social network on the net).

    What was so special about Facebook that it added so much value to your business???

    Regards

    Ashish.

  25. Ashu001
    September 30, 2011

    Stochastic,

    for that to happen you will need to see a serious change in focus and direction form the Management at Facebook.

    Its too much of a transistion for Facebook to make.Its going to be stuff like this which makes a company go from a super-success to a has been overnight.

    Regards

    Ashish,

  26. stochastic excursion
    September 30, 2011

    Well, I just started “subscribing” to Bret.  Maybe I'll get some idea of how they plan to out-do Google's social networking initiative, and avoid going the way of MySpace.

  27. Ashu001
    September 30, 2011

    Focus and knowing your niches are the key.

    You can't expect to be everything for everybody in the online space.

    Its all a part of the growing up process which Facebook has to face and face decisively today.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  28. Ms. Daisy
    September 30, 2011

    800 million users must count for something. There is power in numbers and with time Facebook will be taken seriously by the business world.

  29. Adeniji Kayode
    October 1, 2011

    @teach4people: Any business that thinks all people do on facebook is to chat and the likes is yet to understand the power of advertisment

    Most times people dont even make up their minds on a particular product at the point of seening the advert until one day they are in need of something and the picture they have been seeing consistently begins to come to mind.

    Major and big companies from my location put themselves on FB for the purpose of building their customer base weekly.

  30. Ariella
    October 1, 2011

    @Ms.Daisy Certainly, the huge number of users on Facebook make it something businesses have to pay attention to. I believe that they do, but not all are clear on how to harness the power to effectively reach the users.

  31. Adeniji Kayode
    October 2, 2011

    @Ariella. You are right on that, I also feel some businesses prefer to depend on their own websit probably because it may contain more information than putting it on FB or for the sake of pride.

  32. Ariella
    October 2, 2011

    @Adeniji That's an interesting idea. But from what I see, some of the best known and most popular brands, like Starbucks, gain a lot from their FB presence. They also succeed in using it to make sales directly, as in the case of Starbucks cards that could be ordered and sent as a gift directly through FB.

  33. Ms. Daisy
    October 2, 2011

    @ Ariella, I don't use social sites, but I am envious of the size of the audience available to tap into. I. Wish I have the means of making a business entry into Face book.

  34. Ariella
    October 2, 2011

    @Ms.Daisy I find that some businesses are a better fit for FB than others. Those that are oriented to a very specific niche need a strategy to make their target audience aware of their page. Merely casting a wide net may not work for a businesses with a customer base is that  may not be so attuned to social media.

  35. Ashu001
    October 3, 2011

    Kayode,

    I had basically expressed the same ideas here,

    Focus and knowing your niches are the key.

    You can't expect to be everything for everybody in the online space.

    Its all a part of the growing up process which Facebook has to face and face decisively today.

    Facebook if properly nurtured and structured has the potential to be a very big and lucrative advertising medium for all concerned.

    The only question is effective implementation and segregation of Useful parts from the Useless parts.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  36. Ashu001
    October 3, 2011

    Ariella,

    Very,very well said. I could'nt have put it better myself. The niche concept makes the most sense at Facebook.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  37. maou_villaflores
    October 5, 2011

    @tech4people

     

    FYI…is the most popular social network as of today thats why for me it can add value to my business and my company.

  38. Ashu001
    October 6, 2011

    Villa,

    Would you accept that this is today the norm/best way to advertise for most companies in your industy?

    Regards

    ashish.

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