Reach Facebook’s 500 Million Users

With an Oscar-nominated movie and more than 500 million users, the social networking site that started out as Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to make Harvard’s yearbook more interactive online has become a global phenomenon.

How pervasive is Facebook these days? According to a study by researchers for the United Nations, more people in Indonesia knew what Facebook was than knew what the word Internet meant. To these new users, Facebook is the Internet. It’s what they use. They don’t realize that Facebook lives as just a part of the Internet.

Meanwhile, after the revolutions in the Middle East, parents in places like Cairo, Egypt, are naming their children Facebook. And according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Facebook is now the primary source of evidence in divorce cases. It is increasingly the tool people use to organize meetings, brag about their accomplishments, or promote their products and services.

According to Facebook’s own statistics, people who use Facebook on their iPhone/iPads are 200 percent more active in viewing and sharing content, and they are also 300 percent more likely to engage with a site financially (either by buying something or recommending to a friend that they make a purchase) when they interact with that site through a Facebook link on their mobile device.

The good news for web designers is that a recent study by Covario’s Social Media Insight tracking tool found that creativity trumps money on Facebook. Just throwing money at a marketing and advertising campaign does not return results that are as good as having a compelling message (or website).

Participating in the communities related to your business means spending the time to do searches for Facebook Groups, Fan Pages, and Events (see a guide here).

Your first step should be to set up what social media marketing experts call a “listening post”. Learn what your prospective users are talking about before you start jumping in to try to sway them in your direction. If nothing else, you’ll find valuable insight into what the problems and concerns of your users are, and what they wish someone would do to help them out.

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