behind the scenes

Why the Facebook switch?

As you may, or may not, have noticed, the JUMP program has been making adjustments to its social media platforms.  The main change of course that I refer to is the move from the JUMP mentoring Group to a JUMP mentoring Fan page.

Fan pages were specifically designed as a communication platform for businesses.  Facebook has been adapting its applications since day 1, in order to better serve its users.  Although Fan pages have not always existed, they are the best way for businesses and organizations to communicate through the platform.  Facebook is a tool primarily for personal social interaction, so business entities have a responsibility to identify themselves as such.  Although the JUMP mentoring program is not a ‘business’, ‘celebrity’ or ‘product’ per say, in terms of its engagement with social media platforms, it most closely resembles one.

One of the most common challenges with setting up a Fan page is deciding ownership. To have a page, an individual with a private account must set it up.  Conveniently, JUMP already had a Profile page used by its mentees and as such could set up a public Fan page without any ownership debate.

So what’s the big difference? At its core, Facebook Profiles and Groups have a limit to the number of friends or members they can attain, whereas there is no limit to the number of fans a company/individual can have.  The nature of Groups is for you to share ideas about a common interest or subject with other individuals you know personally, in a closed or private network.  Fan pages are made for an entity to communicate publicly, and can only be created by an official representative of that entity.  Now I might not be expecting to attract tens of thousands of fans, but having the option never hurt :)

There are also a number of applications that you can employ using Facebook Fan pages that aren’t otherwise available via Groups or Profiles.  Along with the standard list of tabs including: photos, events, links, notes and discussions, on a Fan page you can create custom tabs such as ‘reviews’, ‘FAQs’ and ‘subscribe to newsletter’, to name a few.  Also just released last week was the ‘Questions’ application, where you can ask a worldwide audience pressing questions relating to your business, or set up a poll.  Besides being able to track your reach through Google analytics, Fan pages have an ‘Insights’ application where you can measure and analyse the traffic and engagement on your page.

You may still be wondering ‘why Facebook at all?’.  Without getting into a fully fledged rationale piece about why we should all be using social media, here are a few points highlighting Facebook’s power:

  • It is a first-mover advantage success story to the max!
  • At last count (Fb is rather modest with their numbers) there were 500 million active users on the site (logged on within the last 30 days).
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook.

After a few quick calculations, you find that the average user spends approximately 24 hours a month on Facebook.  Now multiply that by 500 million users and you get the equivalent of 1.35 million years spent on the site, in one month!  Of course if you multiply anything by 500 million you’re bound to get an overwhelming number.  But consider it in terms of trends; of social behaviour and leisure time, not to mention information creation, sharing and research.

To put it into a more digestible perspective, there are nearly 10 million active users of Facebook in Australia.  The population of Australia currently sits around 22.5 million, 18 million of whom have internet access and 15 million who use it actively.  In short, 2 out of 3 Australians uses Facebook; that’s a huge audience sitting at your fingertips.

According to a study by the Altimeter Group, the focus of businesses using social media in 2011 is engagement, website integration and brand monitoring (November 2010).  Facebook Fan pages are an integral part of these trends.  We intend pursuing these exact focuses, but fear not, JUMP will not be a self-promoting, faceless presence on Facebook.  We are committed to being a useful and helpful contributor to our friends and fans :)  If you have any questions, comments, tricks, tips or criticisms please send them my way!

Oh, and one last thing: if Oxford can add ‘OMG’ to the dictionary, I’d just like to ask- where’s Facebook’s addition?

Til next time folks- T

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