Business communications on Facebook



Tuesday 25th September 2007 17:15


I’ve spent the past three weeks exploring the dynamic world of Facebook and the communication solutions which it offers to businesses – I must confess I still feel like Alice in Wonderland, and the rabbit hole seems never-ending on this topic. After searching through sources like CNN, BBCyoutube, google and reading up on what some industry professionals in the new media space have to say about Facebook, I have arrived at these conclusions. Facebook, whether we like it or not is here to stay and so is the medium of social networking. Even if company bosses  and universities block Facebook users, they  will inevitably find ways to access Facebook in their spare time. Many South African business owners and universities have used a blanket approach and have decided to ban their staff and pupils from using Facebook .  Rian Groenewald (Operations Director of Multimedia Solutions, a mobile marketing company) recently wrote about how mobile phones were being used more frequently to access Facebook


(Mike Stopforth, entrepreneur, writer and speaker on Web 2.0 recently also commented on Bizcommunity why employees should use Facebook) I guess the real question is how we can adapt to Facebook, social networking and marketing using user-generated content?


1. Vide e Caffe Group


Common Interests- Food and Drink

Size 923 members


The Vida e Caffe group uses the recent news section to post short news snippets. The Vida e Caffe page uses the recent news section to post short, punchy news snippets. Members can also post their own questions, videos and photos to generate interest and initiate conversation on the discussion board and wall post. Vida e Caffe has included so group members can keep up to speed with major events and global initiatives that the cafe is rolling out.


2. Goodhope FM Group


Common Interests- Entertainment, arts and radio

Size 1,231 members 


Goodhope FM unlike Vida e Caffe has the advantage of being a radio station and an existing communication source. Its link to music content enables it to target messages to its listeners via the airwaves and Facebook. This can be observed on the photos and videos of events that its listeners post on the group page.


3. The South African Film, Television, Theatre and Radio Network


Common interests: Film, Television, Theatre and Radio

Size: 2005 members


This was created for networking purposes to members of industry. Similarly other industries can also set up a networking portal like this one where ideas can be exchanged via wall posts, discussion boards and/or emails. Even journalists are communicating in a group about relevant topics and developments taking place not forgetting the application which also exists.


4. Activism and Causes


” They are trying to shut down facebook- petition to keep it! invite all! ” 


Size 1,571,169 

Type Common Interests

Netowork Global  


Many of you may have come across this group and its not hard to comprehend why there are so many members. They all share one common interets of course. 1, 571, 169 members is quite something when you consider that at any given time Ben Sinclair (the groups founder) can send an email to all the group members. This creates opportunities for businesses wishing to communicate in the corporate social investment space (whether they trying to assist with breast cancer, feeding the hungry, or world peace initiatives). Companies and politicians have also started using Facebook to lobby and rally support.


5. A local event ( Africa Burns- Burning Man in South Africa)


Size 1,737

Event Date 22-25 November 2007

Venue: Ceres Karoo


This group which was started in order to draw support for a local event taking place later this year is an example of how interest can grow and be generated arround an event. In a similar manner the official “Cape Town Facebook Party” has a following of 2, 284 members who are waiting in anticipation for the big event. Our National Braai Day managed to gain support from 6, 792 members and the “I love South Africa” group now stands at 11, 211 members. 


Within all the groups mentioned, individuals form communities around special interests. Therefore, if businesses want to target these individuals they need to push key messages to maintain interest and participation in a similar manner as Vida e Caffe and Goodhope fm.  Facebook communication strategies can be aligned with national initiatives as was the case with National Braai Day. Ideally a Facebook communication strategy should tie in with mediums like TV, radio, and advertising as these are also accessed by the same audience members. I found the Klipdrift “Met Eish Advert” on youtube (4,222 views) and thought this would have been a good advert to have posted on the National Braai Day group (6,787 members). It could have been posted on the fun walls of individuals in the group who could then have spread it virally to their friends.  


The second video I came across on youtube was the Dove Evolution Video which has had 4,562,374 views on youtube.


Applications may also offer solutions to companies. Red Bull was one of the first to develop Roshambull, built on the same rules as the game “rock, paper, scissors.”



Lee Aase  (National Media and Media Relations Manager for Mayo Clinic) highlights the following as the top ten business solutions for Facebook:

  1. Crisis management – creating “dark” sites in Facebook (or on a blog) that can go live quickly to communicate effectively with affected constituencies. Communicate meaning two-way conversations.
  2. Limited profiles – how to set a division between what you reveal to close friends and family vs. business and professional networks.
  3. How Facebook makes everyone a “connector” and why Facebook has reached a Tipping Point
  4. Facebook vs. “White Label” social networking software, and why and when organizations should consider each.
  5. A case study of a group spontaneously formed in Facebook surrounding the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
  6. How Facebook can put the “relations” back into Media Relations
  7.  Examples of organizations with Facebook groups, official and otherwise
  8. Why organizations should get in on the Facebook groups land rush
  9. A vision for how Facebook could become a “Cheers” for industry-specific journalist and newsmaker interactions (which is related to the “putting relations into media relations” post.)
  10. And another related post, Toward a Medical News community
  11. The Facebook/social networking session at the Frost & Sullivan MindXChange
  12. The application for the Facebook platform, which ties what I put on this blog into my Facebook profile (and you can “friend me” here)
  13. To make it a Baker’s Dozen, here’s one more, my initial thoughts as I started this Facebook trek.

Nick Jag

Facebook marketing is an upcoming venture in the promotion world. The website has been expanding drastically, and, with the recent launch of customized applications, the site harnessing more page views and traffic time then ever before.

The networking capabilities of Facebook are very powerful and with total integration of information. News feeds allow you to track what all your friends are doing. Powerful search options allow you to target with extreme details. Open platform development will continue to allow Facebook to grow, and quite possibly, overtake MySpace in time.

Word of mouth seems to be one of Facebook’s strong areas with such powerful integration. Viral promotion is one of the fastest forms of promotions and specific, creative campaigns to provoke such promotion can be extremely effective. Such is the case in many positive public relations campaigns, such as when Holiday Inn declared towel amnesty day, or with Oprah’s big Car Giveaway with Pontiac. Most creative marketing strategies that use viral promotion can be very effective within the Facebook network.

Advertising Exodus- Facebook

Marketing ideas on Facebook

 Initially built for college and university students in 2004, Facebook has since grown into a popular social networking website that is open to all.

With over 30 million members worldwide, Facebook is 7th most visited site in the United States and sees over 15 billion pageviews every month.

In May 2007, Facebook took a big step forward by launching the Facebook Platform, which allows developers to build third-party applications for use within Facebook’s user interface. This gave marketers and companies a viral and effective means of promoting their website to the Facebook audience.

The platform, along with a rapidly growing member base has made Facebook into viable means to get exposure for your brand, product or website.

Using FaceBook for Brand Exposure, Traffic and Sales

I’ve been meaning to write a detailed article on using Facebook for some time and have been doing research gradually over the past few weeks. Some bloggers have written useful articles on Facebook marketing, although most of them are brief and do not go into great detail.

Having experimented with both Facebook and Myspace, I do think Facebook has a lot of potential for businesses and entrepreneurs looking for some targeted traffic. For instance, Facebook has a far greater amount of user features, communication channels and ad targeting possibilities.

I’ve previously examined some ways to make money with myspace and hopefully I’ll be able to come up with a future piece on how you can use Facebook as a method to generate long term income for your website or business.

For now, here are some articles you can read during the weekend, if you’re interested in getting started on Facebook.

Introduction and Tutorials on how to use Facebook

These are some general articles which examine Facebook from a user perspective. All of them are introductory and will help you to start using Facebook.

Social Networking: A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook

As a consequence Facebook has managed to go from being a well-put-together online social networking tool to becoming a socially powered content aggregation hub.

By allowing you to bring together the vast majority of your favorite tools and services from around the web, and aggregate them in a single easy-to-navigate destination, Facebook has achieved something totally new.