I recently attended a charity fund-raising event. They had struggled to sell tickets for the dinner and I wondered how the organisation could grow its donor base.
After we arrived I asked the head of the organisation if she had a Facebook page as I would like to tag her on my post about the event. She turned to me and smugly said, ‘I am not connected to Facebook because I talk to my friends. I have my friends here and here and here.’ She pointed at the people seated at her table.
And, this is the challenge of Facebook.
It is not properly understood by many people. They still see Facebook as the domain of egotists who feel the urge to share ‘what they ate for breakfast’ with the world. Newsflash. Facebook has grown beyond this myopic perception.
Multinational corporates understand that Facebook is the new-word-of mouth. It is essential for growing brand awareness. In the old days, marketing departments would spend chunks of the budget to grow a contact base. Now, with a little patience and imagination, you can have the attention of thousands of potential customers at a click of the mouse. Imagine the awareness created when a post with your company name, has been shared amongst people you have never met – people who could become your customers. Perhaps even refer their friends to you.
And that is the power of Facebook.
Writers are aware of this. They realise that Facebook has the power to grow their personal brand. Readers will buy a book from a name they know and trust. Even established authors can no longer sit back and think their books will fly off the shelves. There are too many newbie writers who understand the power of Facebook and are maximising its power to reach potential readers.
It is a pity the event organiser did not understand these benefits. There are only so many charitable functions friends will attend. Facebook is a business opportunity. Not a threat.
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by Ulrike Hill
Ulrike is a ghost writer and the author of two books. Ulrike Hill facilitates creative and business writing courses for Writers Write. She also lecturers English and Communication Science at Varsity College.