A few years back, I quit Facebook. I tried deleting my old profile, but in Facebook, that’s pretty much an act of congress, so I just abandoned it. A year ago-ish, I snuck back on, but decided not to do much in the way of “business” via my Facebook. Along the way, I discovered what I think is the real value of the platform.
Facebook Business Value Isn’t What You Think
People ask me often about advertising on Facebook. I have no idea. Every time I’ve done it, nothing much happens. Jon Loomer knows better than me. That’s his thing.
People ask me whether they should have a “page” on Facebook. I don’t know. None of my pages have ever really thrived much, but I “like” a bunch of pages that I wish I could see more often. (Facebook has all kinds of algorithms that I don’t understand that basically keep me from seeing people’s pages unless they pay Facebook enough to show me what I’ve asked to see.)
But the business value to me is in the groups. The Facebook group function is where the magic happens. (For me.) I’ve got my free Secret Team, which is just an amazing resource of people sharing and helping each other. I belong to a group run by Scott Stratten that I like a lot. I belong to a group started by Tamsen Webster that’s awesome. And Matt Ridings and I have a funny little group that he started that, while only a few days old, is some of my favorite reading.
I like Facebook messenger a lot, too. I’m having all kinds of mind-growing conversations there. It’s how I talk with people like Joel Comm and some others. I prefer Whatsapp, because it’s even more pure and simple. I can see a lot of business value and implications in THOSE tools. I know what Facebook bought it and for as much as they paid.
So to me, the business value in Facebook is in what it tries to best do anyway: connect people and help you display what you care about. (Yes, they’re doing this to build the most powerful collection of data so that people can advertise to you, but that’s why you get it for free.)
The business value is to help people see where they belong. It’s a big value indeed. And one that companies can tap into.
Note: I’m working on a new book about some of this kind of information. My work with HR organizations and some very big companies over the last several months has shown me some fascinating details in recognizing just how much we can do to help aggregate all the untapped potential and value within organizations. More on that as I go.