Corporate Eye

Fair Play for Facebook


Recent posts have included several on Twitter, and a couple on social media in general.  So in the interests of equal exposure, it’s time for a focus on Facebook.

One of the secrets to social media success for businesses is understanding the different functionalities and “personalities” of the various platforms.  By now, tribes in the remote Amazon know that the special nature of Twitter is the 140-character limit that creates discrete messages (aka tweets).  So what’s the corollary super-simplification for Facebook?

People have Friends, companies/products have Fans.

Beyond that . . . I’ve looked (and looked and looked) for a good introduction to the magical powers of Facebook for business, but I’ve come up empty.  The “basics” of Facebook resolve down to get an account and poke around.  Which could be worth the time if you want to get a feel for the experience.

And/or for a refresher on social media in general, here’s a primer from HR consultant Kevin Wheeler.  (And it’s worth a stop at the home page of Wheeler’s company to see the excellent virtual version of Kevin.)

Now we’ll go on to some more specific material about Facebook:

First, what’s new with Facebook.  That’s a very current topic, due to the fairly recent acquisition of FriendFeed by Facebook.  If that statement doesn’t have meaning for you, don’t worry about it–just jump in with Jeremy Owyang’s excellent post on The Future of Facebook.  Short version:  More like Twitter.  (While at Jeremy’s Web Strategy site, check out this post on Facebook traffic, and listen to a podcast on Facebook Connect for Business.)

And just as I’m writing, there’s another bit of breaking news:  The Huffington Post has implemented Facebook Connect in a new service called HuffPost Social News, which “aggregates Huffington Post stories that a given user’s Facebook friends have recommended or commented on, and shares the user’s Huffington Post activity on their Facebook profiles in turn.”  It will probably take a while to judge the significance of this move.

Meanwhile, on a more practical note, browse these two round-ups:  5 Tips for Getting More from Facebook and 32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business.  Both are targeted (like most of what’s available about Facebook) for small businesses and entrepreneurs rather than big companies, but they offer a general flavor plus some handy information.

And finally, follow up on Facebook for recruiting.  Two good posts from  some candid remarks on Facebook for business and a quick overview of recruiting apps for Facebook.

But nothing beats real life, so drop by to see how things are working out for Ernst & Young.  They got a lot of publicity when they ventured out on the Facebook ledge to court college students a couple of years ago, and interestingly enough, it looks like they have 30,731 fans as of today . . .

For a really zippy look at the E & Y approach, watch How Ernst & Young and Starbucks Use Social Media, from 60SecondMarketer.   One minute well spent, actually!

There certainly isn’t as much how-to (or even why-bother) lore for Facebook as for Twitter, but that gap may start to close soon.  To get a more substantive grasp of this particular match-up, read Twitter Vs. Facebook.  A thorough analysis–and ten minutes well spent, definitely.

(Thanks to benstein for the excellent “f”.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.