Few people now doubt the colossal importance of Facebook in our world. Established in 2004 Facebook is valued today at over 50 billion dollars and it is home to over 600 million users. It is among the largest intentional communities our world has seen. The Facebook community now surpasses the populations of all but two sovereign nations: India and China. People of all stripes have established their presence on Facebook. Today the fastest growing segment is women between the ages of 55-65 while 96% of humanity’s youth (those under 30 years old) has joined a social network such as Facebook. (1) Amy Kean – Senior Marketing Manager for the Internet Advertising Bureau – stated it succinctly when she declared “…social networking has become a core part of our daily lives.” (2) There’s no denying it! Facebook is not a fad. Facebook is here to stay.
There are various reasons any given individual has embarks into the Facebook community. There are equally diverse reasons that PR firms, marketers and businesses have entered the Facebook space. Among the greatest assets for those marketers and businesses is the ability of Facebook to create loyal customers who share information with their friends. The goal of social media networks such as Facebook is not only to create content for your customers but to create a “volunteer marketing company” (3) for your business. The goal is to help your customers share information about your business or product with their own social network.
Today ShareThis and Starcom MediaVest Group have released their first comprehensive study on online social sharing. “The study focuses on ShareThis’ database of sharing activity for the month of March 2011 and includes a detailed analysis of more than 7 billion sharing signals across all major sharing channels….” (4) Facebook is at the heart of this sharing. In fact, “Facebook accounts for 38 percent of all sharing referral traffic… [and it] makes up 56 percent of all shared content (up from 45 percent in August, 2010….” (5)
The logic is clear. If you want to create a group of loyal customers who will share information about your brand then the creation and ongoing maintenance of Facebook are crucial steps for your social media marketing campaign.