With the ever increasing use of popular social networks to stay in touch with society, so expands the need for businesses to tap into the same networks to maintain a modern connection with current and prospective clients alike. One of the current most popular network sites being used by all facets of society is Facebook. While Facebook has been available to anyone over the age of twelve with an active e-mail address since 2006, not everyone understands the differences between a personal account and a business page or knows how to utilize this particular media. This article will cover just that, starting with a brief history on the creation of Facebook.
In 2004, a Harvard student by name of Mark Zuckerberg created the now infamous Facebook (Maher 137). Mark had started the site to take the place of the Harvard’s university ID photos and information booklets (Maher 137) and had intended to keep its use limited only to Harvard students. However, after noticing its intense popularity after only a few weeks, he began offering the site’s use to other schools. After just a few months, the use of Facebook had spread to several other Ivy League universities in the nation and required users to have an active university e-mail address (Kryder 32). Today, the boundaries of Facebook have expanded well beyond the realm of higher education majors and onto the monitors of millions across the globe.
There are two types of user accounts to choose from; a personal profile or a page for businesses or organizations. While both require much of the same information to set up and look quite similar in presentation there are differences that prove necessary to both. First, a personal profile functions merely as a broadcasting point for an individual’s personal information (Kryder 32) (i.e. status updates, religious views, sexual preferences, etc), whereas a business oriented Facebook page offers the business/organization the ability to market their products, events and/or services to any and all users. Also, users with a personal profile can add people they may or may not know as “friends” who also have a personal profile while users can only become a fan of a business page of their choice to show support.
Fortunately, businesses have finally started tapping into this immense marketing resource to stay in the modern age of communication. There are many benefits to utilizing such social networking sources, the biggest being its ability to provide a constant source of new information, new connections, and new opportunities (McMahon 50). Facebook can also be used as a recruiting tool to seek out potential employees (Wilson 56). Obviously, one of the main reasons a business would choose to create a Facebook page would be to advertise their products or services and to connect with their “fans” to build and maintain popularity. Though, the fan base can be directly proportional to the business’ extroversion (McMahon 50) and if a certain level of communication is not maintained there will most likely not be an increase in followers.
Even though the original plan for Facebook had been diverted from, its popularity is one that cannot be rivaled. This popularity helped to bring about a new connection between individuals and business entities. Marketing via Facebook and other social networking sources is still a rather new concept to businesses but is proving to be a worthwhile venture. A business looking to connect through such networks need only remember to maintain the communication with its newfound “fan” base.