Guest Blog by Imogen Reed.
Facebook, known of course as the world’s most popular social network for both business and personal purposes, officially became a public company on 18th May, trading its stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market for the first ever time. For investors in the company, they could finally see if their initial investment had grown into something more profitable as finally a dollar sign will be placed in front of the company which changed the way we use social networking for good.
After its creation in 2004, Facebook has attracted over 900 million users and that’s just those considered active and it has become an important tool for both business networking and those using it on a personal level. The age of the webinar and online networking groups has meant face-to-face events have become much less relevant and you can arrange a fully functional and effective business meeting via your webcam and computer, using just Skype, Facebook and potentially other networks of your choice. The money saved on all manner of finer details, from stocking up on paper based business cards and flyers to hiring transport for all delegates and arranging mini bus insurance, can be used to further invest in your business or network. Online networking has changed the way we view the world and allowed for much wider, much more far reaching development and growth within many sectors. Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg are at least partially responsible for this and should be thanked.
The Impact of Facebook’s IPO
Facebook’s IPO is priced at $38 per share at present and this will have both indirect and direct consequences for companies using social networking business solutions. The network, now valued at around $104 billion boasts the largest technology IPO in living history and the repercussions of this should reverberate around the social business world in general.
Organisations rely upon business based social networking solutions to improve communications and collaboration, further brand awareness and engage effectively with their customer base locally and worldwide. It also allows for a streamlined and centrally controlled customer service base from which you can build and develop relationships with potential return customers. Social networking has become as much a business tool as a personal one.
Experts in the social business sector are convinced Facebook could add more strings to its bow by developing an enterprise and business version of their site, giving enterprises, growing businesses and their related networks a chance to specifically focus on brand development and separating their platform from the more personal currently out there.
Further Investments and Growth
With the company now having a value, there is no reason for it not to invest in further platforms, strategies and innovations to make its brand even stronger. The implementation of more specifically business orientated strategies would certainly be key to ensuring that growth takes a step in the right direction although predictions are suggesting that mobile technology is next on the hit list. There are rumours a Facebook smartphone may be in development. The development of robust hardware based products could be something to seriously develop the brand and make it even more easier to connect directly with our particular business networks.
A Facebook smartphone would ensure that your entire phone usage was linked directly to your profile or business page and running its own bespoke software it could genuinely be the only business phone deemed good enough within a few short years. In an attempt to reach more internet users, Zuckerberg and his team need to step towards those using alternative means to get online and that includes mobile users.
The growth and development of the network thus far has been solely based upon advertising and the strongest internet media markets are currently said to be in China, India and Brazil, not areas where Facebook is particularly strong and this is something that needs to be considered if their reign at the top of the social network tower is to be continued. Nobody is suggesting the brand will fade out like its predecessors as it has become an integral part of people’s lives and business but to remain strong and to keep its share prices high, growth and advancement have to continue.
Whilst networks like Linkedin have been developed solely for your business, Facebook has the potential to develop into something infinite in size and as a proactive and aware businessperson, keeping tabs on its development should be an essential part of your business intelligence.