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Why Your Business Must Be On Facebook

Jun 27th, 2011 | By | Category: News

Facebook growth

This chart was posted on AllThingsD.com by Ben Elowitz, an angel investor in media and e-commerce companies who now heads Wetpaint.com. Using commercial comScore ratings (which are financed by subscribers) he for his augury he predicts:

The old searchable Web is crashing; while the new connected, social Web is lifting off.

While this dramatic chart may be exaggerated by statistical data manipulation, the trend is clear. Each of us, every person on the planet, has a daily “pie” of time to allocate. The amount of time we spend on the Web is being increasingly gobbled up by Facebook which is brilliant at keeping people on the site. Was it only a year ago when your friends would Email you a link to a funny video and you (and other friends on the Email list) would click to YouTube? Now that link is embedded in your Facebook feed, and Facebook gets all the “comScore” for the time you and your friends spend watching the video. This chart reflects that technical shift.

People Now Connect to Other People, Not To The Web Page

Ordinary Facebook postings are not searchable, so Elowitz scoffs at the searchable Web as “the document web.” He sees a shift away from searching for information to a “fully connected” digital life. Today’s New York Times shows how big companies are using internal social networks as a way to keep team members “fully connected” on projects and upcoming events, bypassing Emails and meetings. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/technology/27social.html

Comparing Apples to Oranges

Again wielding his comScore cudgel, Elowitz asserts that Facebook began receiving as many visits as Google more than a year ago, in March 2010, and that it has triple the monthly viewing time as Google. He must have forgotten that Google is a search engine, not a content provider. Google is designed for people to find what they are looking for in a twinking and leave promptly for the desired content, so comparing site “stickiness” is not exactly relevant. Elowitz dismisses Google as providing a “utility relationship” but I have a very warm relationship with my utilities. I would give up both Google and Facebook before I would give up running water and electricity!

The Human Connection Changes Everything

Fifteen years ago, Luddites lamented the rise of the Internet as the work of the Devil, isolating people and fragmenting people into little cubicles at work and separate rooms at home. The pendulum has swung back with people now having access to the minutiae of life — our own, our friends, our congressmen. If you want to be connected, you have a wide range of tools. How does this affect your business?

We have reached a tipping point. We now need to stay connected to our customers and to provide them with insights into what is going on. In days gone by, people found goods and services through personal referral. Those days are back and it is only going to grow. Facebook, Yelp, Google Local and others are helping customers find the right supplier fast and reliable. Our time online is becoming more productive and more enjoyable. When we do this right, businesses and their customers become truly connected digital partners and can use the Web effectively to build relationships and, yes, even loyalty. Do you think the emergence of social networking will be a help to your business? What would be the best strategy to build loyalty with your customers?

facebook growth

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  1. Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Google will launch the Google+ project, its biggest leap yet into Facebook’s social networking turf. See NYTimes article about Google+
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/technology/29google.html

  2. I’ll go with the apples and oranges. I wouldn’t go to Facebook to find a tutorial on video format conversion. I did, however, post my video on Facebook, not on YouTube. (At least, I haven’t put it on YouTube yet…). And I’m still uppity enough to want to find my own content, not restrict myself to consuming the content that’s delivered to me.

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