I often give presentations and workshops on using social media for both research and marketing, and I am still surprised by how many people look at Facebook with mild disdain. “I have better things to do than post selfies and videos of my dog,” they sniff. “And how could I possibly find value from other people’s selfies and dog videos?”
I’ve got two answers to these concerns. First, you can treat your Facebook account just like any other social network profile. Assume that everyone can view your updates, and keep them at least “business-casual” — vacation photos are OK as long as you’re fully clothed and not holding a drink with a little paper umbrella in it. I use my Facebook page as a way to show a less formal version of myself than what people would find on LinkedIn or on my web site. A less-appreciated benefit of being on Facebook and interacting with colleagues, friends and family is that I have a better sense of how to search Facebook and what groups to mine for answers and insight.
My second response to the Facebook skeptics is to look at the latest statistics from comScore on smartphone usage. According to comScore’s March 4th press release, 75% of the mobile phones in the US are smartphones. And what are people doing on those 184,000,000 phones? The top app, used by over two-thirds of users, is Facebook.
comScore Reports January 2015 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share
If that many people are checking Facebook, then I want to make sure that I’m in front of them on Facebook. It isn’t my only online presence, of course, but it’s one where I know a lot of my potential clients are hanging out.