Facebook as a Business Tool

Originally posted on the “Southern California Technology Entrepreneur” blog I currently manage for the i3 Advanced Technology Incubator…

If you still view Facebook as another Myspace: a teen’s internet playground used merely to post pictures of last weekend’s party, you may want to take a closer look at the power and capabilities of social networking sites. Last January, Facebook established its legitimacy and credibility by teaming up with ABC News to sponsor New Hampshire’s presidential debates.
With more people taking Facebook seriously, more and more businesses are using Facebook for marketing and for what Standford professor BJ Fogg calls “mass interpersonal persuasion”. In a recent Fast Company article, Fogg explains why Facebook is “the most powerful thing ever invented.”
Fogg believes, “the social networking platform is revolutionary because it takes the dynamics of one-to-one persuasion and scales it up to millions.” For this reason Fogg states that Facebook has emerged as “the most effective persuasive technology ever”.
Fogg explains how Facebook can be used in identifying your market and adapting to your customers:
“You have a lot more visibility now into who’s using your service and why, and you can see how it gets socially shared. You don’t have to pre-define your market right out of the gate. As long as you watch what’s going on, you can adjust and go with what’s working. …It’s continuing to improve products and experiences based not on guesses, not on consultants, not on checklists, but on real data and real usage. That’s very exciting, and it’s only going to get easier.”
Companies are also finding other creative uses for Facebook. Inc.com recently published an article which described how “more recruiters are relying on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites to fill job openings”. The article sites that “in a recent survey of 115 human resource managers at small technology firms nationwide, 64 percent said they’re tapping into online social networking to find job candidates”.
Along with other innovative companies, the i3 Advanced Technology Incubator has recently extended it’s online presence via Facebook by hosting the Los Angeles Technology Entrepreneur group. In reference to balancing wise and thoughtful decisions with being innovative, i3’s Director Doug Howe notes, “when you’re on the cutting edge, it’s important to remember which way the blade is facing!”

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