Facebook’s Real Potential, and Why You’re Probably Missing Out

I’m beginning to think that one of the most underrated skills today is knowing how to use Facebook to get what you want.

Today I was able to find two or three good roommate opportunities for a friend in just a few minutes spent on Facebook. I just asked my network. That was pretty cool and much easier than going to five or six different rental sites and accounts.

That’s not an isolated experience. Over the years I’ve gotten life-changing podcast and book recommendations, made business connections, given interviews, planned meetups, published music, and shopped here.

Still, I and most people only use a small fraction of our social networks’ real power. We share cute videos, maybe some photos. We broadcast political opinions. We treat Facebook as a leisure activity, or worse, a distraction.

But consider what Facebook could be if we brought a purpose to it.

It’s one of the most-used sites on the web. Many people have computers primarily for using Facebook. The world is here, from your mom to your boss to your clients. 1.71 billion monthly active users – that’s a very strong network.

Add that to the fact that Facebook is the most featureful social network out there. It absorbs or bests all challengers and all innovations – Instagram, Periscope, Ebay, Venmo, Etsy.

These days Facebook is a blogging platform, a video hosting site, a photography portfolio, a review site, an ecommerce marketplace, an advertising platform, a mobile payments app, a ride-sharing app (see Arcade City in Austin, TX), a personal/professional web profile, a company landing/sales page, a professional networking tool, an event planning tool, a live streaming app, an IM chat app, a talent marketplace, and a community management portal.**

I think a lot of people segment goal-oriented online activity to LinkedIn, their personal blogs, company websites, Skype, etc. This is a big category mistake for Facebook.

The most valuable part of your network is here. You have everything you need to reach that network here with whatever it is you create. You’re much more likely to get qualified attention/interest for your work because 1) it’s your network, 2) Facebook’s algorithm favors native content, and 3) Facebook’s network effects make a viral post that much more likely.

I realize I’m not saying anything particularly new for you marketers (you knew this a long time ago), but everyone else can benefit from the secret knowledge you’ve been using for years: everything you do here can create value and opportunities.

Are you using Facebook like that’s true?

P.S. Look at people like Derek Magill, Josh Fechter, and Isaac M. Morehousefor good examples of using Facebook effectively. Their creative ways of using FB inspired much of the thinking in this post.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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