As of today, September 21, 2011, there are over 750 million people who have a Facebook account. Fifty percent of those users log onto Facebook every single day and have an average of about 130 friends. Facebook is a website that continues to grow larger and larger every day and yet many small businesses still have yet to really dive into this sea of possible customers.
According to OrbitalAlliance.com, only about twelve percent of small businesses in the United States consider it “a must” to be involved on social media websites. This leaves a huge amount of small companies that have not yet gotten into the “social media” trend. This is something that needs to change. A whopping forty four percent of businesses polled do not consider it a necessary to be on Facebook at all. I believe that if they want to easily improve their company’s output, they should get on board the social media train because that is where all of their customers are spending their time.
Television is somewhere where a lot of companies advertise using commercials. Different businesses narrow down which stations their commercials should air on by doing studies about who watches the specific channels. For example, commercials for the Model’s, a sporting goods store would most likely be seen on a channel like ESPN because it would reach the largest crowd possible that would be interested in their products. This commercial would most likely not be aired on a channel like Fox News or another similar news station because it would not nearly be as effective. Facebook, however, is a place where everyone lists their interests for everyone to read. People are able to “like” all sorts of things on Facebook from sports, to cooking, to almost anything that you could possibly have interest in. If a topic that you are interested in does not have a page on Facebook, anyone can create one and start adding all of their friends to see it. This makes it incredibly easy for companies to target and advertise to the exact types of people that would be interested in what they are selling. All they would have to do is start their own page and start advertising from there. Facebook is a place where ideas spread like rapid fire. Once a company puts themselves on Facebook, it only takes one click by a user to see their page. This makes marketing incredibly easy because it involves little to no work for the company. When the businesses that were surveyed were asked about their best form of marketing, on average they said about fifty percent was from word of mouth. That is exactly what Facebook is. It is word of mouth except on the internet.
Another huge benefit about advertising on Facebook is that it is absolutely, one hundred percent free. It takes minutes to log in, post a status about an upcoming sale, event, or a new item that is in stock. For companies, especially small businesses, this is the optimum way for them to get their name out to the public and show people what they have to offer. In my opinion, small businesses need to get involved as soon as they can in websites like Facebook because the sooner that they do, the more successful they can use it to better publicize and advertise for themselves