In case you’ve missed it (ha!), Facebook is a social media network with more than 900 million users. It was originally an exclusive social networking site for Harvard students which then branched out to other universities, followed by their friends and families via invitation. Find the history of facebook here.

Facebook is still the largest social network. It allows users to interact with friends and family throughout the world. More than 50% of users access the site through their mobile device to post status updates, pictures and videos.

What’s in it for you?

The benefits of Facebook have evolved overtime, and some people love it, while others hate it.

Originally, Facebook users were part of an exclusive group sharing information privately amongst their closest friends. Today, the benefits vary by user with the most significant being that users can communicate with friends and family anywhere in the world for free.

The average Facebook user is not the “teenager” most imagine them to be. To the contrary, the average age of a facebook user is 40+ years old. Why? Ten years ago, connecting with relatives and former college roommates required a costly long distance phone call, an email, or *gasp,* a written letter AKA snail mail.

For many users, Facebook is a way to share their individual photos. The network also provides the opportunity to share photos with others who are also featured in the photos. For instance, if you are at a wedding and a group photo is taken, the person taking the photo has the ability to tag everyone in the picture. Photos can then be stored in albums on each individual’s facebook photo albums. This is a positive for friends who have lost touch in that they can still follow each other’s lives virtually.

The downside to Facebook is that not everyone is interested in their friends’ every move, meal and neurotic thought. Facebook has also come under much scrutiny over their privacy settings. Unless a user was vigilant, most anyone could see anything they posted on their “private” walls. The privacy issues have evolved into Facebook now harassing users with any inconsistent movement, including shutting down an account or suspending one’s ability to friend request someone for a period of time.

 How does a business benefit from Facebook?

Facebook remains the world’s largest social media network. With over 900 million users spending an average of 23 minutes a day on the website, the possibilities are endless. Facebook offers a business the ability to showcase their products and services, reward their loyal customers with incentives, interact with contests and drive traffic to their website.

Web traffic remains the name of the game in online marketing. Drive traffic to your website, and your business becomes more prominent on search engines. With daily Facebook posts, your business can keep its name and web link in front of your target audience every day.

As with any social network, the social aspect is critical and in order to succeed, a business must engage their audience. If you are not sure how to do that, PJs and Coffee offers training and consulting programs, as well as, management programs.