Facebook is closing in on 500 million users and total internet domination. They don’t just want to be a place you visit while you are surfing the web, they want to be THE place you visit. All the recent changes with transparency on and off of Facebook are just to increase the reach and activity of Facebook. The more Facebook interweaves itself into your daily habits, the more you will use it, the more money they will make, and the longer they will be around.
Now we have business pages, groups, the blog network, community pages, and a universal like button. If we were to compare the offerings to their counterparts on the internet it would look like this:
- Community Pages – Wiki, this page platform is basically a wiki. A wiki is a repository of community-edited information on a particular topic.
- Profile Page – Micro Blog – Tumblr, Posterous
- Groups – Ning
- Blog Network - Technorati, BlogCatalog, MyBloglog (Facebook has not performed as well their counterparts on the blog network now that they have limited the reach and interconnection of blog categories to paid accounts)
- Business Page – Website. We are calling them business pages since they took away the fan feature, but these pages are turning into websites. We will discuss this more in just a minute.
- Like Button – Digg, StumbleUpon, TweetMeme. This new feature which shows your Facebook friends everything you like on and off of Facebook is in direct competition with the toolbars that have been created by the popular news aggregator sites.
- Facebook Places – (coming soon) Foursquare, Gowalla
How can you capitalize on Facebook’s desire to BE the internet?
Business Page: Turn your business page into another website
- FBML App; let’s you create custom tabs using html (about us, products, promotions, welcome, contact us, newsletter)
- Shop Tab; sell products and services straight from your business page
- Support Tab; live chat straight from your Facebook page (Parature just announced this new offering which basically gives you the last piece to your website)
- Facebook Polls; poll your fans and track results with PollDaddy Facebook App
- Add Google Analytics; Track your visitors (FB has a basic tracking system on Biz pages, but this is a website now so kick it up)
Like Button: Promote your brand and help your community
Use the new like feature strategically, you do not need to turn this off, but if you want to turn it off visit Applications and Websites under Privacy Settings, you just need to be smart about it.
- Promote your business and community events, blog posts, syndicated content on other networks
- Promote resources and information your community would be interested in
- Promote Strategic Partners and they may promote you
Don’t leave your contacts on Facebook
Always remember that Facebook is owned by Facebook, do not leave your business in their hands
- Connect with your Facebook Contacts on other networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, FriendFeed, Skype, Yelp, Meetup, etc.)
- Export Your Facebook Contacts through a Yahoo account
- Use Xobni with your Outlook to see which contacts are on which network
2. Pull Facebook Contacts into your newsletter
3. Pull Facebook Contacts into your website through your blog
If you are one of those that is unhappy with these changes, I am sorry but Facebook is not going to roll back the clock they are moving forward in their quest to stay ahead of Google, Twitter, and the Internet. Facebook will continue to make changes that will increase their bottom line, you just need to figure out how these changes will help you increase your bottom line. And be ready for the next Facebook, because it is coming.