By  on October 20, 2011

Is Facebook, a platform that was initially launched as a way for people to connect and share, now a tool for big business? Not exactly, but Chris Barbour, Facebook marketing strategist, said that businesses and brands can find much that’s compelling in the model. “When businesses leverage the Facebook opportunity, it all centers around building and maximizing essential connections,” said Barbour at the Digital Forum. “Fans are just the beginning. You can learn from them and build deeper relationships with them, but when you want to launch a new product or promotion to drive sales, the small amount of buzz generated through a Facebook fan page isn’t enough. There are new ways people are connecting and sharing.”

When Facebook realized how passionate people were about brands, it knew there was an opportunity for commerce. “We realized it’s not just the relationship between people — its the relationship that people have with the things around them, including brands and products,” Barbour said. “We all live in networks, and within a person’s own network, there are 10 critically close and essential people. The reality is that e-mail, phones, chat and text have enabled us to be more closely connected. But those [devices] have not had a unifying framework to them.”

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