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Make Friends with Facebook

By now, the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of arguably the most popular social media site on the planet is well ingrained in our culture: young, brilliant, and ambitious college student founded a website in 2004 originally intended to give Harvard and other college students a way of tracking their classmates.

The site, Facebook, would go on to dominate the social media landscape and indeed the Internet itself, providing an easy-to-use portal for all levels of users. This ease-of-use helped enable users of any technical skill set to congregate and share news, photos, and videos about themselves as well as participate in shared experiences like games and surveys.

Because of its one-stop-shopping nature, there are many Facebook users who do not wander much beyond the virtual walls of the Facebook site, save to view the occasional link offered up from friends and colleagues. This, more than anything else, is the biggest draw for businesses and advertisers looking to reach out to Facebook’s own estimated 750 million users (250 million of them mobile users), who are spending 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook, which comes out to the equivalent of 1.3 million person-years. Per month.

Facebook’s social media currency is as broad as it comes. When it was first launched, it was all about the easily updated user status. Then it was messaging and news feeds dedicated to the user’s friends. Photos were always a part of the Facebook experience, but later videos would be added. The latest feature addition to Facebook is video calls.

Because of the dynamic nature of Facebook, software developers are able to plug their own additions into Facebook. The most well-known examples involve the games that populate the Facebook ecosystem. But these add-ons also contain a large number of business-oriented tools—including PayPal, business pages, and SlideShare—that can be used to enhance your customers’ experiences immediately.

PayPal is one such business that has a business page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/paypal), demonstrating one way that such a page can connect to customers.

With such a wide variety of communication methods available, Facebook is nearly the perfect place to get started on a social media campaign.

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