The Importance of Facebook to the Field of Communications
By Leigh Richards
In the last few years, Facebook has taken the world by storm and become an important element in the field of communications. From its simple beginnings as a way for Harvard college students to connect with each other to a user base of over 900 million monthly users, according to its SEC filing, Facebook's influence is global.
Connecting Me to You
At its most simple level, Facebook -- like other social media tools -- allows individuals to connect with each other on a one-to-one basis. But the ultimate power of Facebook goes far beyond that. Those one-to-one connections quickly multiply and, through its behind-the-scenes technology, Facebook has the ability to provide you with information on potential new connections -- friends of friends. Importantly for businesses, these one-to-one connections provide a ready-made source of referrals and word-of-mouth marketing that is virtually impossible to duplicate in any other traditional communication forum.
Connecting Businesses With Customers
For businesses, Facebook is about connecting businesses with customers. Its impact on the field of communications between businesses and those customers -- and prospects -- means that many have turned away from traditional communication tools like newspaper advertising or traditional direct mail and have established storefronts on Facebook. Some businesses are finding that Facebook may even replace their websites. Access to literally millions of potential customers has a significant amount of impact on communications in the 21st century.
Facebook's Influence on Marketing Communications
For marketers the ability to reach out to customers and build relationships has driven the cost of reaching customers down and has provided the ability to share interactions that can involve photos, videos and other visual elements. Use Facebook ads to very precisely target Facebook users who have the kinds of traits and characteristics that suggest they might be good customers. That kind of pinpointed, laser-sharp targeting was never before possible and holds great value for businesses, especially those with limited budgets.
What the Future Holds
While Facebook's initial public offering of stock in 2012 was met with some hiccups and the company faces continuing challenges from those who question its use of private information and worry about online security, the tool is not likely to fade away any time soon. Businesses can benefit from the ways in which Facebook has impacted the field of communications and continue to experiment with ways to make connections online that lead to sales.
Leigh Richards has been a writer since 1980. Her work has been published in "Entrepreneur," "Complete Woman" and "Toastmaster," among many other trade and professional publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.