Facebook Inc. (FB) as a platform can be a very popular way to establish a brand for a business. With more than 900 million users (and growing by all accounts) – nearly three times the population of the United States! – the potential visibility of a business is huge. But does the company need to spend thousands, or millions, of dollars to Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) for advertising on the social site?
Actually, it seems that for many companies, just investing in a social media manager on the payroll just might do the trick even better than any colorful ad. As Facebook is a social network, that socialization – known as “engagement” in business parlance – seems to be more important. Active participation is better than passive display.
Word spread quickly when General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) pulled all of its display advertising from Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) – did that mean Facebook was done, that the rest of its advertising revenue was going to disappear? Well, while not everyone has pulled their advertising – some companies have scaled back, though – General Motors still has a presence on Facebook by maintaining a Fan Page in order to interact with Facebook users.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has a couple of predominant demographics that are attractive to businesses – tweeners and 30- to 39-year-olds. These seems to be two fo the more dynamic consumer demographics, so even if companies don’t advertise as much on Facebook – one company, American Apparel, says it has scaled back because o smaller ad sizes – they still make sure to have a Fan Page that is actively managed by an employees to initiate or maintain active engagement with customers, potential customers or overall Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) users.
And the strategy that seems to work is using sharable content – videos, photos and updates – over outbound links to a company’s web site. Keeping users on Facebook seems to increase visibility and satisfaction among users, and keeping users on Facebook longer is one of the goals of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) in general, besides increasing the number of users. Whether users “lingering” on Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) longer can be translated into more revenue is still a challenge for the social site, but investors surely would want to see some return on the lingering – investors like hedge-fund manager George Soros of Soros Fund Management.