Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 7:48 pm | Fair 63º

 
 
 

Marc Hyman: Facebook Playing a Bigger Role in Business Development, and the Like

Businesses catch on to advantages of friends and social networking

Facebook has been in the news lately but you still may not know why it’s so important for your business. The Web site was launched in 2006 and it now has more than 600 million users who share ideas, pictures and all sorts of information with each other — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Facebook is the leader in social media because it allows its members to be social — or, as they say, friends — with millions of other users who share some or all of their interests. At the click of a button, any Facebook member can reach out and connect with any other member and find out what he or she has been up to.

Part of being social involves telling your friends about things you like and don’t like. This explains the blue-colored “thumbs up/thumbs down,” “like/don’t like” icons that are popping up all over the place on the Web sites you visit. By clicking on the like or don’t like button you can tell all of your Facebook friends, up to 5,000 of them, how you feel about something you saw on the Internet.

Although it did not start out that way, Facebook has become a powerful marketing tool for products and brands because of this simple feature. Every marketing professional will tell you that there is no better way to promote your product or service than to have lots of people telling their friends about it. Facebook makes telling the whole world as easy as one click of your mouse. It’s a simple concept with amazing potential.

To show you how revolutionary this little tool is, just think about how you’d go about telling your friends about something you just saw on the Internet. Using old-fashioned e-mail, you would cut and paste the Web page’s url into your message then select names from your address book. It would take you hours, if not days, to send out 5,000 e-mails letting all of your friends know about something cool you just found on the Web. Facebook has revolutionized this process.

While Facebook has changed the way businesses can get the word out about their products or services, it has also changed the way people can complain about a bad product or poor service. Whether you like it or not, Facebook and other types of social media will have a game-changing effect on your business.

Now is the time to join the online community and learn how to use the new tools that can jump-start your business or launch it into the stratosphere.

— Marc Hyman is a 20-year Santa Barbara resident. A lawyer by training, he has worked with more than 300 small companies and startups over the years. The Internet revolution has brought new opportunities and new challenges for businesses and his company, Back-To-Basics Marketing, helps clients navigate the new world of marketing and social media. He can be reached at 805.288.2269.

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