Millions of people use Facebook everyday. It is a fantastic social networking site that has tremendous social value. If you have ever looked at Facebook or used it, you know what I mean. Facebook is attractive because it allows us to keep in touch with people we would never normaly speak with. We can also become informed about important social events, such as weddings or concerts. People are social creatures, and the more access they get to things that increase their social well being the better. With the amazing speed and technological capacity of the internet, communication has never been so easy and fast. Facebook uses these benefits of electronic communication to connect people. It also helps new people meet each other and share information about their interests, hobbies, and goals. There is little doubt tha Facebook has lead to some very good friendships. As a business person you might be wondering how you could possibly use this remarkably popular social network for business purposes. Many other people have thought about the same thing.
Actually Facebook has thought about it as well. One of Facebook’s advertising programs is something called Facebook Beacon. Facebook Beacon works by recording the purchase information of Facebook users and then publishing it on Facebook so that friends can see what other friends are buying. This only works with certain websites that have signed up for the service. Imagine being able to spread information about your product through the friends of those who are buying. People love to know what their friends are buying and where they are buying it. They like to stay up on the lates trends, and one way they do this is by watching what their friends buy.
It is actually fairly simple to join Facebook Beacon. It simply takes three lines of code added to a web site. However, there are a few things you should know about Beacon before you try to jump on this opportunity. When Beacon first came out in 2007 it was not well liked by many Facebook users. People felt that the program was inappropriately using their personal information. Many people feel that what they buy is their own business. You probably would not want someone going through your trash to see what you eat. The outcry was fairly intense. At that point Facebook Beacon responded by setting up an option to publish. This means that every time Beacon records information and attempts to publish it the Facebook user is given the option of dismissing or disallowing the publishing of their privae information. This seems to have helped some, but this does not mean that there aren’t still several people fairly angry about Facebook Beacon. Before you join Beacon remember that users might not be too happy about your business trying to record and publish their personal purchasing information for gain.
If you feel that people will not be upset by Beacon you might want to try it and then follow up by trying to get some feedback from customers. It could be a great way to spread information about your business and its products in an unusual and potentially very succesful way.
Facebook is certainly a place where trends are discussed, so it could be a great and fairly natural way to get your business going. However, if you think that Beacon is an invasion of privacy and likely to annoy or anger your customers, you probably want to think twice before using it. A customer who feels like they are being spied upon will probably not come back. Also realize that their could be seroius legal ramifications for giving away user information without their consent.