Why businesses can’t afford to ignore facebook


I was meeting with a group of business people today and talking to them about using web design and their websites as a marketing tool. I shared with them that they as business owners they cannot afford to ignore the social media phenomena ‘facebook‘.

Here’s some compelling stats:

  • In July this year facebook hit 500 million users world wide. One in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to Facebook (source ABC News)
  • Two and a half million Australians have started a facebook account in the last 12 months.
  • Last month (Sept 2010) Australia was ranked 15th in the world for the number of people who have a facebook account. Now over nine million Australians are on facebook. (See world ranking @ Nick Burcher)
  • The average facebook user is connected to 130 friends (Source facebook statistics)
  • Of the 9 million Australian facebook users only about 1 million are under 18 years of age (Source Heidi Allen)

With four in every 10 Australians now on facebook its a market that is just to big to ignore. As I explained today the absolute minimum that website owners should do is integrate their websites with facebook by providing  visitors with the facility to share their sites content on facebook.

Integrating social media share buttons into your web design allows users to easily share any page of your site with their friends on social media. Remember each facebook user has an average of 130 friends, if each of those 130 shared your content with just their friends 17,000 people have just seen a link to your website.

That is the incredible power of social media.

The best marketing you can get is a referral by a friend. That is exactly what is happening when people share your content with their friends on facebook. Best of all it’s free.

You just add the share icons, and that’s it. No further time investment required.

The next thing you can do to tap into this incredible sea of humanity is to set up a facebook fan page for your business and integrate it into your web design, but that is more complicated and takes a time commitment to make it work. I’ll write more about that in another post.

But if you have not already – do yourself a favour and put the share icons on your website. I use sharethis. Its extremely good, its free and its easy to install into your website.