With over 850 million users, one might think that Facebook is a no-brainer from a business perspective. The fact is, there are many businesses who have yet to embrace Facebook and other social media sites in a strategic manner. I just spoke with a prospective customer last week who told me he “doesn’t quite know what to do with Facebook,” so he has chosen to do nothing. (Yes, we can certainly help him!)
With Facebook heading toward it’s multi-billion dollar IPO, expected in May of this year, Social Media Strategist Caroline Melberg predicts that changes will happen that will force businesses to take a look at their social media participation – and soon.
“You need to look at Facebook’s potential revenue drivers with this IPO on the horizon,” says Melberg. “Yes, they currently make money on advertising, but to date they are leaving the entire search advertising market (valued at $15 billion annually) on the table. Have you ever tried to search for something on Facebook? It’s terrible. Facebook today ranks today with the lowest amount of search volume (behind Google, Yahoo, Bing, EBay, Craigslist, Ask, AOL and even Amazon). That is going to change with new investors on board.”
While Google is moving into social with it’s Google+ product, Facebook will move into search by adding a stronger search component within it’s existing platform – one that 850 million users (and growing) already use regularly.
According to this article on Bloomberg Businessweek, “Greg Sterling, a senior analyst at Opus Research, says Facebook could quickly become the second-most popular search engine if it tackles the (search) problem in earnest.”
So – what does this mean for your business? When Facebook improves it’s search functionality, suddenly your customers won’t have to leave Facebook to search for what they want to find. If your business isn’t on Facebook…how will they find you when they do so?