How Entrepreneurs Can Find Value in Facebook

How Entrepreneurs Can Find Value in Facebook

By Evan Carmichael

Entrepreneurs
are discovering the value of Facebook applications, third-part
mini-programs that can run on the site. Since the platform was first
made available in May, its popularity has exploded, with even LinkedIn
creating a job search application on Facebook.

When was the last time you wrote on
somebody’s wall? I’m not talking about when you were five and you
thought drawing on your bedroom’s walls was a good idea.  I’m talking
about on Facebook, the Palo Alto-based online networking site that is
taking the world by storm. If you’re an entrepreneur and you don’t have
an answer to that question, or if you don’t even know what that
question means then your business is in trouble.

Facebook is no longer just about teens looking to find old friends,
or maybe even old flames. Facebook is about making new connections, and
everyone from your sister to your colleagues to your competitors are
online.

Once shunned by the corporate world in favour of the more
professionally-geared LinkedIn, small and big businesses alike are
beginning to embrace Facebook as a potentially valuable tool to
establish and cultivate professional relationships.

According to TechCrunch, MySpace remains the leading social
networking site with 46 billion page views per month, but Facebook has
been slowly growing to now stand at 15 billion page views per month.
And, while MySpace might be more accepted among adolescents, Facebook
has proven more popular among people with a university education.

But, just how exactly can businesses make the most of the tools on this rapidly expanding site?

First, it’s simply a great way to connect in a much more
community-oriented way than sites like LinkedIn allow. You can see who
else has joined, send group messages, see or post relevant workshops
and events, and more.

Facebook also allows for a good opportunity to promote your company.
You can update your status and post notes about new product
developments that you’re working on next. You can post pictures of a
new book you may be launching, or even advertise and sell your products
in the Marketplace. You can also read other people’s updates to see if
there may be room for collaboration or to lend your services.

Once you make any changes to your profile, that information is
automatically sent to all your friends’ news feeds. In this sort of
viral way, you can be slowly building your brand. If you choose your
friends wisely, you will be creating a very solid reputation for
yourself.

Finally, there are those entrepreneurs who are discovering the value
of Facebook applications, third-part mini-programs that can run on the
site. Since the platform was first made available in May, its
popularity has exploded, with even LinkedIn creating a job search
application on Facebook. When your competitors start coming to you, you
know you’re on to something.

But the site isn’t perfect. There needs to be more space to promote
business relationships. From being able to explain in more detail how
you know someone, to maintaining a separate list of professional
contacts versus other friends, there’s a lot Facebook could do to
broaden its appeal to business owners.

In the meantime the site should not be dismissed. Any entrepreneur
who wants to live to see tomorrow needs to embrace the technology of
tomorrow, and for now, that’s Facebook.

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