Facebook Pages Is The Community Platform For Businesses

Facebook is in the midst of transforming the way businesses interact with their customers and it has all been built on top of the Facebook platform. In an interview with Robert Scoble, Mark Zuckerberg only briefly mentions the Pages product and how that has been a recent focus of the company. It’s entertaining watching the video because Zuckerberg and his team of developers are in the process of developing a product which essentially duplicates the majority of the features within Ning, the product of Marc Andreesen, a fellow Facebook board member.

A little over a year ago Marc Andreesen was interviewed about Fast Company, about Ning which continues to grow at a rapid pace. The focus of the article was around the concept of a “viral loop” and how that’s the latest business model:

The secret is what’s called a “viral expansion loop,” a concept little known outside of Silicon Valley (go ahead, Google it — you won’t find much). It’s a type of engineering alchemy that, done right, almost guarantees a self-replicating, borglike growth: One user becomes two, then four, eight, to a million and beyond.

Take a look at Facebook’s growth chart and you’ll see that they’re experiencing the viral loop phenomenon and they have mastered the art. You can thank the hundreds of computers and top tier engineers at Facebook that are constantly monitoring user interaction in what can only be described as a model similar to “big brother” except that it’s being done for commercial value. Now the company is solidifying their platform as a resource for companies and Saturday’s username launch was the beginning of this shift.

Want to set up a community for your business? That is the heart of social media on the web right? With 225 million users and growing Facebook is simply the best platform for reaching your customers. Twitter may be the closest thing to competition at this point as they have mastered the “viral loop” better than anybody before. Unfortunately though, their traffic doesn’t yet compete even though it appears to be growing at a rapid pace (much of which appears to be international).

This “viral loop” phenomenon has created an entirely new dynamic for companies. While Ning boasts millions of social networks, so does Facebook. Facebook Pages may not have been originally marketed as a service which lets companies create their own social network, but that’s essentially what it does. It’s also a complete platform which enables customization. The only drawback is that you can’t customize the design and the platform is not open sourced to enable hosting on your own site (as Ning is).

With the sheer number of users on Facebook, there is pretty much no reason for a company to avoid developing a Facebook presence. The opportunity for brands in this new environment is huge and the Facebook platform is now the largest place for those brands to connect with their existing and potential customers. While companies can continue investing millions of dollars in traditional advertising, it’s much better to spend the time building a community around your brand.

This is exactly what Facebook Pages allows. If you’re a business looking to take advantage of the social media phenomenon, Facebook Pages are simply the best place to get started. Have you leveraged Facebook Pages for your business?