The Evolution of Facebook

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Hi everyone!

First, many congrats to the WVU men’s AND women’s basketball teams. Women – fantastic job on making it to the tournament! Men—I’ll see you tomorrow 😉

Now, back to IMC …

Yesterday I got my final grade back for my 610 Intro to IMC class, and I can officially say that I’ve got the first class under my belt. Yay, progress!

This week in my PR class, we’ve been discussing how search engine optimization and social media have affected/changed public relations, particularly how PR professionals are having to adjust to writing for new media. This discussion made me think about Facebook. Just a few years ago, when I was working in the field, Facebook was frowned on in the workplace—even blocked in some offices—arguing that it was a major time-sucker and decreased productivity. Now, I can’t imagine why anyone would say that …

In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s my farm. And, yes, it’s awesome. And, I am not ashamed to say that I farm. A lot. Sadly, IMC has taken up a lot of my time and I’ve had to put my farm on the back burner for now.

But in all seriousness, I joined Facebook a few months after Hailey was born, when I left my job to stay at home with her. Facebook was a great way for me to stay connected with my former co-workers and friends during that first year at home (which can be really isolating!). In the years I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve seen the network evolve from a place where friends gather to chat and gossip to a popular mechanism for companies and organizations to share news and information – and increase brand loyalty by strengthening relationships with their “fans.” There are several business that I’m either “friends with” or “fans of” on Facebook, and I enjoy hearing about their news (especially discounts and promotions).

I do think companies (specifically PR people) need to be especially careful about how they communicate with their audiences through these social media channels. Case in point, last week I read an article on AdAge about Nestle’s battle with its Facebook fans over logo usage. Long story short, Nestle posted a message to its 90,000 Facebook fans warning them to stop using the Nestle logo on FB. The company immediately received backlash from upset fans. The moderator’s response: “Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.” Well, that just made fans even angrier. Yikes!  

What about you? Does your organization or company use Facebook or other social media to share news? Do you have any success stories you’d like to share? Any problems you’ve encountered?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my farm …. Just kidding! (not really)

2 Responses to “The Evolution of Facebook”

  1. Nicola Says:

    Hi Stacey:

    I guess the Nestle faux pas is really doing the roundz. I have to tell you I farm as well, but nothing compared to yours, geez. Makes me look like a novice. This story popped up on blogs all over the place, really bad move on Nestle’s part.

    However, my area of expertise if that can be associated with Facebook is MAFIA WARS! Over the last Christmas season when I was off I truly got addicted.

    I can understand why the workplace wouold want to minimize if not eliminate Facebook it can be time consuming if you’re not careful and not all of us have the self-discipline to resist it.

    My job doesn’t maintain a page or anything like that on any social media. But I commend companies/brands that choose to. However, given the numbers easily accessed through social media platforms, CAUTION should be a part of the marketing strategy. We can’t please all the people all the time, however, marketers can try to avoid pitfalls that rile most of the people at any time.

    Nice post. Enjoy your farming.

  2. stacywise Says:

    Hi Nicola,

    I was an anti-farmer for the longest time, and then one of my best friends decided to start farming. That’s all she talked about, so I felt like I should at least check it out. And now I can’t stop! My farm looks like an episode of Hoarders. 🙂

    I think I joined Mafia Wars at one point but I haven’t participated at all. I did do Fishville and Petville last fall, but I quit those indefinitely when I started IMC. My virtual fish kept dying and my virtual pet kept ending up at the pound. HAHAHA.

    Seriously, I think lots of workplaces could benefit from Farmville! It’s relaxing! If I’m having a hard time writing a paper, I just take a break and farm a little bit and then I’m refreshed when I go back to writing. 🙂

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