First things first, I’m no Facebook worshipper. In fact, I use all leading social networks for definitive needs. I use LinkedIn as a professional networking and hiring tool, Twitter as a means for marketing, YouTube for video promotions and Facebook for advertising and customer service. And I’ve to admit that I’ve liked whatever I’ve seen of Google+ so far as well.
I strongly believe that the social network landscape has changed vastly in the last one year. Facebook started off as a low-key affair and then gradually went from strength to strength, emerging as the world’s largest social network. In contrast, Google+ arrived with a bang. However, barely a couple of months since it launched, questions are being asked whether Google+ can sustain its growth.
In fact, critics were quick to predict that Google+ would spell doom’s day for Facebook. Not only did the world’s leading social network survive the Google+ onslaught, it’s actually responded back in style – beating Google+ at its own games. In my opinion, Facebook offers valuable lessons on how we should stay relevant in our social and professional lives and make the most of the opportunities that come our way.
To change is difficult, not to change is fatal
Facebook has always been criticized for bringing about too many changes – privacy, look and feel, new features or otherwise. As humans, it’s a natural tendency that we oppose change. However, as we’ve often realized in our personal and professional lives, change may be difficult but in a lot of cases, it’s always for the better.
Facebook says the objective of this offer is to educate small businesses on how to promote themselves on the social-networking site, like buying display ads targeted to specific markets, but also through cost-free measures to engage more with customers. Facebook will give away $50 per business in free advertising credits to around 200,000 small businesses, on first come first serve basis, when purchasing ads on the social networking web site.
In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons for Facebook’s phenomenal success is the constant focus on innovation. For example, Facebook’s newly introduced smart lists are all about innovation and streamlining user’s activities to minimize human intervention when it can be avoided.
There are friends and then there are some special friends. Until recently, Facebook has weighed them all on the same scale. In fact, Google Plus exploited this very weakness to great effect with its circles feature. It was then that Facebook folks realized that they need to go one step better than Google+. While you need to create circles on your own, Smart Lists automatically group your Facebook friends in these different categories: family, city, high school, college and work. All the people in your feed who listed that they went to your same school or college will automatically be added to those feeds, and all the people who list where they work will be added to your work friends group.
The world’s leading social network continues to experiment with various ad models – such as adding users’ updates into display ads. Businesses are always on the lookout for new and compelling ways to capture audiences and Facebook provides an ideal platform for innovative advertising. Recently, the world’s leading network announced that it will give away $10 million of advertising credits to small business owners.
Facebook knows there’s a massive untapped SMB market waiting to be conquered but the budgetary constraints restrict small businesses from opting for Facebook ads. The solution – bring them aboard free of cost. If they stick around, they’ll hopefully make enough money to be able to pay for it. Else, they’ll jump ship anyway.
All in all, Facebook is a mixed bag of opportunities. It has its strengths as well as its limitations. However, there’s no doubt that it’s a great teacher on how to stay relevant. What do you think? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.
(This article was originally published on Smedio.)