Facebook has passed the stage of being a household name and entered the stage of being a phenomenon. Its activity statistics are intimidating by any standards, its dedication to the idea of a relations-based Internet is relentless and its role in connecting people in cyberspace cannot be possibly overlooked. Due to its scale and business friendliness it makes a perfect training ground for companies that are set to explore the possibilities of the Internet.
It's not too difficult to brush Facebook aside as a temporary fad, but it is impossible to deny it drives changes in cyberspace that are very likely to outlast it. Should this particular service ultimately recede into oblivion (as many others have), its impact on shaping the Internet and the real world is bound to continue. That's why it's a place to be for every forward-looking business. It's a great training ground for harnessing the potential of modern technology.
It's a cost-effective way to establish a prominent online presence. Setting up a profile is free, even though some expenditure has to be made to in terms of brainpower and manpower to create it and keep it going. It is designed to help showcase company visuals, like logos, and information, from the basics to more nuanced messages. Its largely open-ended character makes it possible to tailor profiles, making them more appealing, original or evocative.
Facebook can make communication between you and your customers and partners more immediate, fun and possibly more meaningful. Its multiple channels are intuitive to navigate and invite honest, non-threatening exchanges, ideal for product feedback, referrals or just making your business look cooler. Over time, site traffic and conversations generated by other Facebookers can provide invaluable analytical information that is so costly to get otherwise.
As an inherently viral environment, Facebook can launch your business into a network of connections you've always dreamed of having, without incurring exorbitant costs of advertising or other efforts. Importantly, your connections are there to stay in FB ecosystem, possibly leading to more connections and the word-of-mouth effect begins to operate. Your good reputation or testimonials from past customers stand a much bigger chance of reaching some new audience when you're on Facebook.
As Facebook experiments with its innovative services, the palette of opportunities for leveraging its user base in advertising or branding campaigns is expanding fast. Intent on finally becoming profitable, the service is likely to come up with ground-breaking solutions for companies. Some early attempts, like partnering up with CNN, have shown incredible potential, especially considering that plenty of Facebook members belong to a desirable, young and hip demographic. Importantly, due to detailed information the site records, this demographic is easier to target with Facebook than with other tools.
It's free so there's no harm in deciding to start, no matter how modestly. In the long run, it's better to be inside in case these youngsters invent the next big thing. Who likes being left out in the cold?
This Facebook study comes from a Miami web designer passionate about social networking and graphic tablets.