11 Mind-Blowing Reasons Your Business Needs Facebook

Everyone seems to be using Facebook to connect with old friends, but do you realize what this huge network could mean for your business? In the past 3 years, Facebook has surged past MySpace to become our preferred online hangout.  And businesses are beginning to catch on.

Interesting research shows just how influential Facebook has become in our daily lives. Combined with several critical adjustments to how Facebook publishes “news” and intersects with other sites, the state of Facebook is mind-blowing. And that’s a big deal for your business.

Here are 11 vital reasons your business needs to be involved with Facebook:

1. 350 Million Global Users and Counting

Facebook announced recently that they had passed 350 million members, making Facebook the third-largest country in the world, if it was a country. (Perhaps that’s their end-game, joining the UN and raising an army?)

2. 100 Million U.S. Users

Sure, Facebook is strong around the world (Canada has the highest penetration rate), but nearly 1/3 of all Facebookers are here in the U.S. You may have heard of a TV show called American Idol. On a good night, it averages 20 million viewers. Facebook has 100 million American members. Hmmm.

3. Average Facebook User Spends 55 Minutes Per Day

Nearly 1 hour per day, per user. That’s a lot of Facebook time. How can your company grab a bit of consumer attention? This data is based on Facebook’s own published stats, covered by Inside Facebook.

4. Nearly 80,000 Sites Using Facebook Connect

Connect is the Facebook initiative that has the greatest long-range impact. By integrating Facebook closely, sites are making our personal social graphs truly portable. Instead of having to go to Facebook and other sites to visit our friends, they travel with us online (and in our pockets via mobile devices), always there to provide advice or commentary. Even Yahoo! and MySpace are rolling out deep Facebook integrations.

This of course makes Facebook the central hub of not just social media, but the web as well (which is why Google is scrambling to catch up after their competing Google Connect fell flat).

5. Facebook Fan Box Becoming Pervasive

Perhaps the least powerful, but most prevalent, flavor of Facebook Connect is Facebook Fan Box, a simple tool for enabling your website visitors, YouTube video watchers, or email newsletter recipients to become a fan of your brand—without even having to go to Facebook.

6. Average Facebook User Has 130 Friends

Will Facebook users continue to add more friends at a rapid pace? It depends upon how they view their Facebook connections. 130 friends almost bumps up against Dunbar’s Number of 150—the theoretical maximum number of actual friend relationships you can sustain, according to British scientist Robin Dunbar.

If Facebook continues to revolve around relationships that you actually possess in three dimensions—people you “actually” know—then the addition of bunches of new friends may slow considerably. But, if Facebook makes the leap to tie people together more casually (like Twitter), average friend counts could rise dramatically.

7. Average Facebook User “Fans” 2 Pages per Month

If you think tons of your customers should become fans of your company’s Facebook page, you might want to recalibrate your expectations. The average Facebook user “fans” only 2 new pages per month. That’s not a lot, considering how many brands, causes, and organizations we come into contact with on a regular basis.

If you’re going to make growth of your Facebook fan base a key part of your social media strategy, you must create a clear rationale for why consumers should participate with you.

You also might consider a robust, organized approach for promoting your Facebook fan page.  (This case study from Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes has some good advice.)

8. Only 4% of Pages Have 10,000 or More Fans

If your Facebook fan page is a bit of a ghost town, you’re not alone. A fantastic study by Sysomos of 600,000 Facebook fan pages shows that only 4% of pages have 10,000 or more fans—and only .76% have 100,000 or more.

That’s why it is so critical to focus your Facebook strategy on activating the fans you have, not just collecting fans like baseball cards.

9. Wall Posts Don’t Impact Popularity

The Sysomos study also found very little correlation between how frequently the Facebook page admin posted to the Wall and total number of fans. However—and this is important—there is a strong correlation between amount of other content (notes, links, photos, videos) and number of fans.

Thus, if you want to grow your Facebook fan base, it is imperative that you move beyond simple Wall posts and add photos, videos, links and other content.

10. Customized News Feed

Facebook’s recent move to an algorithm-driven news feed means that just because someone is your fan does not mean he will see your Wall posts or status updates (true for both individuals and brands). Instead, the default news feed is now comprised of content that Facebook thinks you’ll like, based on your interactions with content from that author in the past, and interactions by your friends with that content.

This puts a tremendous premium on posting engaging content that will get comments and likes and shares. If you’re not paying attention to your content engagement scores within your Facebook analytics, start doing so now, and testing content types to see what works best for your brand.

11. Real-time Search Changes the Game

Facebook is now making most content available publicly, unless you tell them not to via your privacy settings. Twitter opened their data stream to anyone (not just big developers). Google and Bing are incorporating this data into search results, in real time.

This has tremendous implications for search engine optimization and reputation management, because a negative status update about your brand might now show up on the first page of Google search results for your company name (at least temporarily). The shakeout is still happening, but someone in your company needs to be on top of real-time search. Today.

Facebook may not be the ideal environment for every social media initiative, but its huge size forces you to at least consider participating—regardless of what type of business you run.

It’s not just fast-food chains like Souplantation that are promoting their businesses on Facebook. Everyone from the ultra-small business to the Fortune 500 corporation are placing bets on Facebook.

However, some brands are putting an awful lot of eggs in the Facebook basket, which is perhaps justifiable based on the facts above. However, I’m not so keen on building the centerpiece of a social media strategy on what amounts to rented land. What say you?

Is your business taking advantage of Facebook? How important is it to your social media efforts? What advice do you have for creating content and managing Facebook fan pages? Please comment below.

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About the Author, Jay Baer

Jay Baer is a hype-free, tequila-loving social media strategist, speaker, and coach. He's the author of Convince & Convert, one of the planet's most popular social media blogs. Other posts by »




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  • Muxxex

    I’ve actually been doing this lately for my blog.

    Originally I wanted to go the RSS route (which is on the blog) but what real benefit do you have with this? For one thing, you don’t get to interact with your readers and it always seems like people are more likely to stay a friend on Facebook than stay a subscriber on RSS.

    Another great thing about FB is that it helps get the ideas rolling because people actually talk. Businesses can take a cue here to learn very valuable information about how people perceive their company and products – it’s almost like subliminal feedback.

    The other thing I really love about FB is how simple it is to connect and become a fan. You never feel pressure or have to use outside services to subscribe because you already have your FB account setup.

  • Muxxex

    I’ve actually been doing this lately for my blog.

    Originally I wanted to go the RSS route (which is on the blog) but what real benefit do you have with this? For one thing, you don’t get to interact with your readers and it always seems like people are more likely to stay a friend on Facebook than stay a subscriber on RSS.

    Another great thing about FB is that it helps get the ideas rolling because people actually talk. Businesses can take a cue here to learn very valuable information about how people perceive their company and products – it’s almost like subliminal feedback.

    The other thing I really love about FB is how simple it is to connect and become a fan. You never feel pressure or have to use outside services to subscribe because you already have your FB account setup.

  • darlenejayehill

    Since before the new year we’ve been watching how Facebook is changing the marketing landscape. We have (and have had) a page within Facebook for almost a year now. While we only have 20 fans as of now, we do anticipate marketing more and more within Facebook. It’s an amazing tool, that I think is starting to become recognized as one of the “must haves” in your marketing arsenal.

    Thanks for this article, I’ve bookmarked it and will refer to it often when working on our Facebook efforts.

  • darlenejayehill

    Since before the new year we’ve been watching how Facebook is changing the marketing landscape. We have (and have had) a page within Facebook for almost a year now. While we only have 20 fans as of now, we do anticipate marketing more and more within Facebook. It’s an amazing tool, that I think is starting to become recognized as one of the “must haves” in your marketing arsenal.

    Thanks for this article, I’ve bookmarked it and will refer to it often when working on our Facebook efforts.

  • Guest

    After reading a similar piece on Mashable, I got more active with Facebook and linked my FB page to my Social Media Blog, so my site is one of the 80,000 URLs being tracked. Since I use Bit.Ly I am able to track where my referral links come from and as of Jan. 2010 its a toss up between Twitter and Facebook with YouTube a close 3rd.

  • Guest

    After reading a similar piece on Mashable, I got more active with Facebook and linked my FB page to my Social Media Blog, so my site is one of the 80,000 URLs being tracked. Since I use Bit.Ly I am able to track where my referral links come from and as of Jan. 2010 its a toss up between Twitter and Facebook with YouTube a close 3rd.

  • scottaugustine

    Jeff, good information regarding the feeds on FB. At some point more people will realize quality over quantity of followers should be the focus for an effective fan page. I agree, engaging content is key.

    @ScottAugustine

  • scottaugustine

    Jeff, good information regarding the feeds on FB. At some point more people will realize quality over quantity of followers should be the focus for an effective fan page. I agree, engaging content is key.

    @ScottAugustine

  • http://stayinyourprime.com/ Tyler Hayes

    Not that all these aren’t great thoughts, but the first 3 are top-down thinking, which should never be used as a reason to get into something. The next 8 points I love. Great way to tie all this together!

  • http://stayinyourprime.com/ Tyler Hayes

    Not that all these aren’t great thoughts, but the first 3 are top-down thinking, which should never be used as a reason to get into something. The next 8 points I love. Great way to tie all this together!

  • http://www.confessionsofasocialmediamamapreneur.blogspot.com/ AlexisCeule

    Jay, thank you so much for a comprehensive list! I loved this. You brought up points I had either forgotten or just downright didn’t know. My business is thriving because of Facebook AND Twitter… but then again, I am in social media. LOL!! However, I am strongly recommending Facebook in my B2B relationships especially with the new analytics available. Invaluable! Thanks again… well thought out.
    @AlexisCeule

  • http://www.confessionsofasocialmediamamapreneur.blogspot.com/ AlexisCeule

    Jay, thank you so much for a comprehensive list! I loved this. You brought up points I had either forgotten or just downright didn’t know. My business is thriving because of Facebook AND Twitter… but then again, I am in social media. LOL!! However, I am strongly recommending Facebook in my B2B relationships especially with the new analytics available. Invaluable! Thanks again… well thought out.
    @AlexisCeule

  • captainconfuzzled

    And most of those things don’t matter if Facebook doesn’t fit into your marketing strategy. FB is a tool which which to execute on your marketing strategy, it isn’t part of the strategy in and of itself.

  • captainconfuzzled

    And most of those things don’t matter if Facebook doesn’t fit into your marketing strategy. FB is a tool which which to execute on your marketing strategy, it isn’t part of the strategy in and of itself.

  • FoxwoodOnline

    I can’t ignore the numbers but have a problem with the inability to have a separate business account from my personal/family account. My business is on a Fan Page but if someone searches for me, my personal page comes up.

  • FoxwoodOnline

    I can’t ignore the numbers but have a problem with the inability to have a separate business account from my personal/family account. My business is on a Fan Page but if someone searches for me, my personal page comes up.

  • Tomcat

    Many thanks for your honest and practical comments. You have reinforced what I am now seeing as paramount – actually engaging with as many people as possible. Having a shop in the street/ blog website on internet, does not mean anyone is necessarily going to come in, let alone buy. I remember a new local publican struggling to build up his hotel business – he soon achieved this quickly and effectively – by standing on the footpath next to an entrance to his hotel, and greeting and inviting passers by to come in for a free drink. Money better spent than brochures in letter boxes, because he was actually engaging with people.

  • Tomcat

    Many thanks for your honest and practical comments. You have reinforced what I am now seeing as paramount – actually engaging with as many people as possible. Having a shop in the street/ blog website on internet, does not mean anyone is necessarily going to come in, let alone buy. I remember a new local publican struggling to build up his hotel business – he soon achieved this quickly and effectively – by standing on the footpath next to an entrance to his hotel, and greeting and inviting passers by to come in for a free drink. Money better spent than brochures in letter boxes, because he was actually engaging with people.

  • http://coachingthekltfactor.com/ KLT Coach

    Thanks for all the great information. I agree with #nine and have noticed that the pages that I am an admin on with stronger content on the photos and discussions tend to attract more fans also.

    People like to look at pictures and videos so maybe that is the correlation. Again-thanks!

  • http://coachingthekltfactor.com/ KLT Coach

    Thanks for all the great information. I agree with #nine and have noticed that the pages that I am an admin on with stronger content on the photos and discussions tend to attract more fans also.

    People like to look at pictures and videos so maybe that is the correlation. Again-thanks!

  • http://www.djnightlife.com DJ NightLife

    Facebook is extremely important for me as almost all my trafic comes from there. To get your fans to trust you, my biggest advice would be : BE PROFESSIONAL. Answer every email, every question, every Twitter mention, everything. Be polite and pay attention to write well, all those tiny details make a difference. If you have a smart phone, answering your Twitter mentions within seconds will impress your customers and they will return back for sure.

  • http://www.djnightlife.com DJ NightLife

    Facebook is extremely important for me as almost all my trafic comes from there. To get your fans to trust you, my biggest advice would be : BE PROFESSIONAL. Answer every email, every question, every Twitter mention, everything. Be polite and pay attention to write well, all those tiny details make a difference. If you have a smart phone, answering your Twitter mentions within seconds will impress your customers and they will return back for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/rochester_mn preston odenbrett

    I like this article.. however, the question I have no one has been able to answer.. When you indicate that 100 million people are on line with FaceBook here in USA… what is the actual “ACTIVE” membership.. If you break down that number.. whar are the top 25 states? I am learning this daily by some experts, friends and just trial and error. I need to make this sucessful in which we can create a community of people in the town of Rochester, MN, However, I have not been able to get any fans from that area yet. I will be posting some videos soon and I hope that helps. If you can answer some of these questions that would be great.
    Thanks for your great eye-opening article. Love reading your blogs, some of the most unique and beneficial on the web in my opinon :)

  • http://twitter.com/rochester_mn preston odenbrett

    I like this article.. however, the question I have no one has been able to answer.. When you indicate that 100 million people are on line with FaceBook here in USA… what is the actual “ACTIVE” membership.. If you break down that number.. whar are the top 25 states? I am learning this daily by some experts, friends and just trial and error. I need to make this sucessful in which we can create a community of people in the town of Rochester, MN, However, I have not been able to get any fans from that area yet. I will be posting some videos soon and I hope that helps. If you can answer some of these questions that would be great.
    Thanks for your great eye-opening article. Love reading your blogs, some of the most unique and beneficial on the web in my opinon :)

  • http://twtrcoach.com TwtrCoach

    Really nice article on Facebook here Jay.

    You did put a lot of statics here in a really great perspective. I know Facebook is something I will utilize more in 2010. Already got my fan page in place. Done some promotion, but not a hole lot. So slowly catching up some fans.

    Guess we need an article here on how to build your fan base on Facebook. And especially when you see what you mention in #8. So here is a huge potential for us all.

    Was not fully aware of what you mention in #9 and 10. Did notice as you say in #11 that my fan page is doing good on search engines.

    So will adapt some of your tips here.

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://twtrcoach.com TwtrCoach

    Really nice article on Facebook here Jay.

    You did put a lot of statics here in a really great perspective. I know Facebook is something I will utilize more in 2010. Already got my fan page in place. Done some promotion, but not a hole lot. So slowly catching up some fans.

    Guess we need an article here on how to build your fan base on Facebook. And especially when you see what you mention in #8. So here is a huge potential for us all.

    Was not fully aware of what you mention in #9 and 10. Did notice as you say in #11 that my fan page is doing good on search engines.

    So will adapt some of your tips here.

    Cheers.. Are

  • Annie

    Hey Jay,

    What do you think should be the centerpiece of a social media strategy? Blog? Building your own social networks? Isn’t most social media using “rented land” anyway? The reason I ask is because FB is the definitely the centerpiece of my company’s social media. Re: “I’m not so keen on building the centerpiece of a social media strategy on what amounts to rented land.” Sorry if I missed the point somewhere. I enjoyed the article. Thank you!!

  • Annie

    Hey Jay,

    What do you think should be the centerpiece of a social media strategy? Blog? Building your own social networks? Isn’t most social media using “rented land” anyway? The reason I ask is because FB is the definitely the centerpiece of my company’s social media. Re: “I’m not so keen on building the centerpiece of a social media strategy on what amounts to rented land.” Sorry if I missed the point somewhere. I enjoyed the article. Thank you!!

  • http://www.huddleproductions.com/ Chris Yates

    It really depends on your business. If your content is entertaining and it provides value to your customers then Facebook is a great tool.

    We’ve had success for our client Bud Light using Facebook with contests, videos, and photos. This has allowed us to talk and engage their target market-Tailgaters. The fans love it and are engaged with each us all season.

    Here is the link http://www.facebook.com/GamedayRivals

  • http://www.huddleproductions.com/ Chris Yates

    It really depends on your business. If your content is entertaining and it provides value to your customers then Facebook is a great tool.

    We’ve had success for our client Bud Light using Facebook with contests, videos, and photos. This has allowed us to talk and engage their target market-Tailgaters. The fans love it and are engaged with each us all season.

    Here is the link http://www.facebook.com/GamedayRivals

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Yep. Facebook gives you a way to have interactions with customers (and perhaps more importantly, prospective customers) that you might not otherwise have.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Indeed. Facebook fandom is good news/bad news. It requires very little to become a fan, but it requires very little to remain a fan, too. The problem I have is companies putting too much stock in the number of fans they have, because the consumer commitment to be a fan is literally one click. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Indeed. Facebook fandom is good news/bad news. It requires very little to become a fan, but it requires very little to remain a fan, too. The problem I have is companies putting too much stock in the number of fans they have, because the consumer commitment to be a fan is literally one click. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Yep. Facebook gives you a way to have interactions with customers (and perhaps more importantly, prospective customers) that you might not otherwise have.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Thanks Darlene. Good look with expanding your Facebook presence. Lots of other great resources here on SME about Facebook, too.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Thanks Darlene. Good look with expanding your Facebook presence. Lots of other great resources here on SME about Facebook, too.

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