Setting Up Facebook


In our previous post, Twitter Don’ts, we said farewell to our Twitter series with our list of Don’ts for your Twitter account, or what we like to think of as the things to avoid on Twitter.

In this post, we introduce our series on Facebook.  We’ll start with an overview and history of the social media giant, with specific focus on why they’ve been so successful.

AttributionShare AlikeSome rights reserved by niallkennedy

Setting Up Facebook

“Communities already exist.
Instead, think about how you can help
that community do what it wants to do.”

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

Talk to the average adult about Facebook and you’re likely to hear it dismissed as a place for the kids. Yes, that was its beginning — as a way for college students to find out who was that cute guy or gal on the quad. But today the site is much, much more.

You may know the lore: In early 2004, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg started — or stole the idea for, as subsequent lawsuits by the Winklevii have alleged — Facebook in his dorm room. Like a lot of origin stories this one’s not 100 percent true. And neither is the movie, The Social Network,[1] by the way.

In fact, what Zuckerberg originally created was called Facemash, and, rather than mimicking a trad­itional face book — a printed pamphlet with pictures and names of students — the site was basically a knockoff of the then-popular picture-rating site, Hot or Not.[2] Instead of asking visitors to rate the hotness of a single portrait, Facemash’s innovation was displaying two pictures side by side, and asking users to rate the hotter person.

Actually, there was one more innovation: Zuckerberg got the pictures by hacking into Harvard’s dorm ID photo database. Harvard shut down the wildly popular site within days, and, in a harbinger of things to come, charged Zuckerberg with violating students’ privacy. The college threatened to expel Zuck­erberg, but eventually dropped charges.

After putting up another unrelated site later that semester,[3] Zuckerberg released thefacebook.com in February, 2004 as an online face book. The domain name used today — facebook.com — was not used until it was purchased for $200,000 from the Aboutface Corporation in May 2005.

Facebook login page

Figure 56 — Thefacebook.com’s 2004 Main Page[4]

Originally encompassing only Harvard, within three months, thefacebook’s membership expand­ed to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and, in 2005, to other colleges and uni­versities and even high schools. During the early years, a potential member had to have an educational email address (one ending in .edu) to join the site, effectively keeping the old folks out. But many (like your humble correspondent) found a loophole — using an alumni email address — and it became popular for parents to log into the community to see what their kids were up to.

So what’s the real story here? That a smart college sophomore first rips off a popular photo site, then takes a standard college staple — the face book — digital, quits school, moves to Silicon Valley in mid-2005 with no car, no house, no job; lands $12.7 million in venture capital; a year later turns down a $1 billion offer from Yahoo; a year after that sells a 1.6 percent share to Microsoft for $240 million (valuing Facebook at $15 billion); and, in July 2010, his site surmounts the half-a-billion member mark, making it the largest social network by a very substantial margin.

It’s enough to make your head spin.

When we started training on social media in 2008, we heard a common refrain from business people: Facebook is for kids. I don’t think there’s any need for us to be there.

Today, an Edison Research/Arbitron study[5] found that nearly a quarter of social network users indicated that Facebook is the social site that most influences their buying decisions. No other site or service was named by more than 1% of the sample, and 72% indicated that no one social site or service influenced their buying decisions the most.

Next up: The History of Facebook


Setting Up Facebook is the 116th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 317. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] The Social Network movie: bit.ly/9fCwlA

[2] Hot or Not: bit.ly/bbLRH7

[3] This is a great story in its own right. Zuckerberg was behind in his studies due to his work on the Web. He needed to be able to discuss 500 images from the Augustan period for his art history final. Up against the deadline, Zuckerberg built a Website featuring the images and a place for comments. Then he invited his fellow class members to share their notes on the images, like a digital study group. Not only did he do well, Zuckerberg claims so did the rest of his classmates. This is not only a slick Tom Sawyer move, but a great example of the power of social media. This story and other great info about the start of Facebook can be found in a 2007 Fast Company article: bit.ly/bEkRUn

[4] See Facebook pages through the ages: bit.ly/a3bd60

[5] Edison Research and Arbitron The Social Habit II: Internet and Multimedia Study 2011slidesha.re/oZ9JJB

Advertisements

About NextPhase Selling

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
This entry was posted in Enterprise Social Media, LinkedIn How-to, Social Computing, Social Media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s