Social media has come a long way from being simple instant messaging and chatting sites. It’s even gone much farther than just supporting simple games and friend requests, which was the basis of the medium of communication in the past. Now social media sites, like Facebook, have become a world of their own, being sustained by the masses of professionals, students, parents, children, and many other groups of people that have been flocking to them for the past several years. The influx of members and improvements to functionality for Facebook in the past few years have made it a very viable option for businesses, small and large, to market to consumers.
Facebook Then: The Beginning
This bustling metropolis site of hundreds of millions of members started with humble beginnings as a social site for Harvard University students. The site quickly branched out and accepted other members, first those from other Ivy League schools, then more of the general populous. As it expanded, Facebook gained several functions were then unheard of in other social media sites at the time, such as Myspace. Featuring better algorithms for finding friends, more areas to add interests and hobbies, and the ability to instant message anyone in your friend group offered users a space that they could go to make friends without ever leaving their rooms.
As the social media site expanded and gained more members, the costs to maintain the servers for the site proved to be exorbitant, bringing in a wave of sponsors and advertisements, and launched Facebook into the mass marketing scene. This is the point in time when Facebook started to look more and more appealing to businesses.
Facebook Now: The Current State of Social Media Marketing
Facebook became more user friendly as the years went on, going through several different updates and adding more functionality to keep up with competition, such as Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook administrators began adding more page options for different groups and teams. There were pages created by fans for their favorite sports teams, pages created for donation sites, and pages created for charitable organizations. There were even changes that allowed users to separate their work friends from their social friends.
All of this meant more avenues for businesses to use to reach their consumers. Many businesses began to create their own business pages for free on the site, allowing anyone wanting to learn more about their products to simply search a product or business name in the navigation bar and automatically be taken the company’s Facebook page. Companies also started to create pages for recruiting and hiring practices, thus allowing users interested in employment with them to subscribe and constantly be updated on the current status of job openings at their place of business. Facebook even allowed notices to be pushed to possible consumers in their news feeds, allowing marketers and businesses to reach a potential customer base larger than they had ever been able to reach before.
Facebook in the Future: A Viable Option
The future outlook for businesses using Facebook is very bright. With a growing member population and having just gone public, bringing in much needed capital, the company looks strong. Facebook is already allowing businesses to target audiences based on their likes and dislikes, as well as other information on their profiles. Facebook is likely to allow certain reporting capabilities for businesses wishing to reach their shareholders and prospective clients through a medium other than investor relations pages. The news feed feature of Facebook is not likely to go away in the future, which is good considering it creates a constant pulse of information about the company, as well as brand exposure, to millions of customers. As always, Facebook will most likely remain a place for customers to share their ideas about a company’s products and provide insight into where their interests lie.
Facebook will continue growing in the future, and as it does it will continue to be a great resource for businesses wanting to reach a larger and more vocal customer base.