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Friday, March 23, 2012

Facebook As a Social Media Tool


Facebook has developed apps for business and government to make it easy to use as a channel for individuals and business/government to provide and exchange information.

Does it work? Yes – but it's not magic. Creative design and vibrant content are required.

Here's illustrations of an innovative approach – one by business and one by government.

Proctor & Gamble has moved its advertising from print to social media to help sell their product line – soap, personal care, and consumer products. Ads can be targeted based on location and preference of the individual users.

The Facebook pages provide a variety of ways to present P & G products – text and static pictures like print media, as well as audio tracks, video, and interactive navigation of material.

With this flexibility, the company feels they can create active content to entice the consumer to buy their products that will be more effectively than static print ads. They also expect to reduce cost in the process.

In Congress, House Republicans have created the Citizen Cosponsor Project app using Facebook. In their words, it is a dynamic communications platform to enable the user to follow legislation and receive first-hand information from the House as it moves through the legislative process, and express support by becoming a bill Citizen Cosponsor.

These two examples illustrate how social media is being used to raise awareness of products or legislation and engage the users by incorporating an interactive component. Accomplishing anything similar using traditional channels would be costly and cannot scale to an audience of even a small percentage of the 800,000,000+ users in Facebook..

How will you use social media to further your mission?

2 comments:

Dick Davies said...

I read a lot about the "Hello World" aspects of social media, I think because that is a world-changing aspect, the recently appreciated value of transparency.
Another, and maybe greater value is showing the depth of a blogger over time. It's not just the perfect post, it's the value of communicating over time.

Jack Gates said...

Dick:
You have zeroed in on the changes to social media from a business point of view - it's not just a feel good, touch base toy, but a powerful tool to give a huge audience access to information about your business.

Unlike the telephone solicitor that calls during dinner to sell siding for your brick house - social media permits interested users to seek your information in several ways (e.g., search, like by a friend, link in blog post). The reader WANTS to see your information instead of having it shoved in your face.

The observation about a blogger is spot-on! I've noticed recently that a number of blogs that I read regularly have gone dark, and some that entered with a flourish, ran out of steam after just a few posts. Reminds me of the corporate newsletter project - lots of activity for the first issue, begging for content by #5, waste of paper (or electrons) by the 1-year anniversary.

People with something to say (or the assigned task of saying something) can start a blog - however, a blog with a rich stream of posts over time makes a potent statement about its authors. For example: Seth Godin, John Battelle, ESR, Dana Blankenhorn - all have something valuable to say, and have a long history of doing so.

Thanks for your comment.