Each time a user likes, comments on, or shares content on Facebook, that action spreads out to their network of friends (Facebook calls this the social graph). The entire marketing game on Facebook is about businesses getting their customers to talk about them.
Facebook users talk about the brands they care about in a number of ways including:
- They can like that brands Facebook Page
- They can like, comment on, or share content published by that brands Facebook Page
- They can mention or tag the brand in an update or a photo
- They can RSVP to an event on the brand's Facebook Page
Why Facebook has grown so huge
Here are a few reasons why Facebook has blown past all other social networks.
- Facebook has used existing social connections to promote the platform. From day one, the sign-on process has included inviting anyone you've e-mailed! Its assumption is that if you've exchanged an e-mail with someone, there's a good chance you have some kind of pre-existing relationship with that person, and would be more inclined to invite them to join you on Facebook.
- Facebook is heavily covered by mainstream media. Whether it's a newspaper article about a teacher getting fired for thoughtless comments about a student, or a TV interview with two siblings separated at birth but reunited on Facebook, not a day goes by without some kind of mention of Facebook in the news.
- Facebook has grown with mobile use. Facebook shared in it's S1 that 488 million unique users accessed their site via mobile this past March. In fact, Americans now spend more time on Facebook's mobile site than its website. And with the exponential growth of mobile technology and use, this number will continue to grow.
Would you invest in the telephone when it was first invented?
Will I invest in Facebook? Certainly! Facebook is so culturally ubiquitous, that it has almost become the internet or social media itself. It's changed how we think about language, the expectations we have as consumers, and how we stay in touch with family and friends. I imagine that when the telephone first became mainstream, it had an equally profound cultural impact. In this sense, Facebook is not just another dotcom, and certainly not just another social networking site.
John Haydon advises nonprofits on marketing strategy and the effective use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other tools. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, an instructor for MarketingProfs University, and the author of "Facebook Marketing for Dummies."