I admit I’m part of the Facebook bubble. The group of people who joined in the months after Facebook has been opened up to the masses outside of the college students … now I am doing my part to overtake the college and high school students and corrupt Facebook as a tool for business and post-school networking. But I’m ok with that and ok with Facebook growing up, and even if that means some high school or college students will shy away from it in the short term because "mom might be watching" … they’ll likely be back if Facebook does ultimately become the social network it is trying to be. What is has the potential to become is the umbrella network that we have all wished for. Through the open approach and increasingly popular applications, Facebook has the ability to sit above other social networks aggregating their information together. I can access my Slideshare, Gmail, Twitter, Flickr, and Upcoming accounts all through Facebook. Probably there are other accounts I could do that with as well, but haven’t found the applications or added them to my profile yet.
About 10 days ago I started my own group for readers of this blog called Influential Marketing Friends and it already has more than 425 members … and so far I love the additional place of discussion and content that it gives me. Several months ago I was considering starting a network on Ning, but considering the numbers – I’m much happier I waited to start it on Facebook. Aside from my own group, I have also started paying attention to the many ways that other Facebook groups are being used for marketing. Here are a few of the more interesting marketing uses I have come across in the past few weeks:
- MyHome2.0 – A group to recruit tech challenged families for a new reality TV show
- Support Monk’s Protest in Burma – An online petition, of sorts, which more than 400,000 have added their names to
- Yahoo! Pilot – A new group from Yahoo for those interested in hearing about and testing some new pilot technology in the works from Yahoo
- Target – An award winning Facebook campaign targeted at college students decorating their dorm rooms with prizes and contests.
- I read Business 2.0 – and I want to keep reading! – A grassroots and ultimately unsuccessful effort from the editorial team and readers of Business2.0 to keep Time Inc. from closing the magazine
- Bhargava Clan – A group for people with my last name originated to connect Bhargavas together worldwide and perhaps even facilitate some arranged marriages along the way (has more than 125 members)
- Dancing with the Stars Vote for Mark and Kym – Mark Cuban has been working his Facebook friends for the past few weeks to keep the votes coming and to combat some of the celebs that he is up against. Reading his status updates about being nervous 55 minutes before showtime puts you in the midst of the action and makes you care. I’ve been voting for him even though I don’t watch the show.
- Event Related Groups – Just about every marketing or tech event now has an associated Facebook group. The nice thing about these groups is that it makes it somewhat easier to connect with folks that you meet at the event as many are listed in the same place. Ad-Tech, SxSW and Intel’s IDF all have facebook pages.