This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Facebook. Hard to believe that a decade ago Mark Zuckerberg was little more than a Harvard student with a dream and some venture capital funding. Now the social network has changed the way people interact, sparking the age of social media and challenging the boundaries of communication.
Though initially Facebook was meant for college students, it’s grown to include virtually everyone from your grandson to your great-grandfather. And it’s become an especially useful tool for businesses.
Here are 10 ways Facebook has changed the way we do business
1. Making Closer Connection to Customers
Social media is all about getting personal, and Facebook offers businesses a way to communicate more directly with customers. When a company posts a photo of the gang at the office on Facebook, it’s giving a face to the people behind the desks.
2. Offering Greater Chances for Creativity
Whether you’re setting up a contest or making a special photo illustration for your front page photo, Facebook has endless ways to get creative.
3. Showing How Popular You Are
Let’s face it, Facebook is a status symbol. When someone comes to your site and sees that you have 80,000 Facebook fans, they’re going to trust you a bit more than a site that has 800 fans.
4. Prompting New Ways to Advertise
Facebook Ads have become a vital part of any company’s media plan, offering a way to finely target your audience through a variety of customizable ad options.
5. Encouraging Greater Transparency
Facebook has given customers the ability to ask questions directly to a business when they are dissatisfied with a purchase or want to find out more information about a product.
6. Driving Conversations
What better way to discover what your company can do better than asking people directly? Facebook gave businesses a direct connection to their customers to find out what they can improve on.
7. Spreading the Word
Facebook has given customers a way to recommend brands to their friends and in essence become brand ambassadors based on what they like and don’t like on the site. It’s compelling to see that your friend has liked, say, a certain cosmetic center when you’re looking for a doctor to do acne treatments. You want someone who you can trust and if a friend refers them they become that much more trustworthy.
These days it would be unthinkable to hire someone without first checking their Facebook page. A few years ago, this was a great way to weed out immature candidates, though young people have now gotten more careful about what they post.
9. Improving Market Research
Why conduct a pricey consumer survey when you can get all the market research you need simply by posting a few questions on Facebook? If the social media site had been around three decades ago, perhaps the New Coke debacle never would have happened.
10. Gaining Insights
The many Facebook analytic tools offer great insight into who likes your company … and it may not be who you though, sparking new ideas for how to reach out and who to target.