There’s no doubt hottest thing online right now is Facebook. As I type, I’m sure that someone is either inviting you to join Facebook, adding you as their friend, poking you or writing on your wall.
For those who haven’t heard about Facebook, I’m willing to bet that you will have by next week. It’s the latest social networking phenomenon. What started as a website for American College students has now become the next big thing. This month, the number of Facebook users reached 30 million :: and that’s users who are visiting the site at least once a month.
What makes Facebook so addictive, and so viral, is that it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends, work colleagues and anyone else you know. God knows what it has done for workplace productivity, but if you want to connect with your mates and reconnect with old ones, Facebook is the place.
When someone says 30 million users, you can smell the marketers that are trying to cash in on the opportunity. Of course they are. But traditional marketing, via ‘banner advertising’, won’t work here – Valleywag has reported that Facebook is very poor performing, based on click through rates.
I’m not surprised. After all, Facebook is about the connections of friends. And when friends are connecting with friends, they’re not in a frame of mind to be advertised to.
In fact, an application like Facebook proves exactly what The Cluetrain Manifesto promised – that the internet isn’t another marketing channel, but a place for global conversation to thrive. Friends are connecting with friends on Facebook, and everywhere you go you can see that the human voice is alive and well.
So can Facebook be used as a marketing opportunity? And how does one tap into it?
I have a few ideas on the subject, which I’ll talk to you about soon.