You may think Facebook is just another social networking site dedicated to young college students, but you may be surprised how Facebook’s demographics are changing.
In the years since it’s creation in 2004, Facebook has become a major meeting place for adults in the working world, according to a new study by O’Reilly Media featured in a recent SHRM article.
O’Reilly Media found that since September 2008, the number of Facebook users between the ages of 35 and 44 increased by 51%; those ages 45-54 grew by 47%, and those 26-34 increased by 26%. More than half of the 140 million Facebook users are out of college.
“With web sites and social networking tools like Facebook, companies now have the ability to be the master of ceremonies and create communities for their customers to join,” Scott Townsend, marketing director with United Linen and Uniform Services, recently told The Examiner-Enterprise.com. “And customers have the opportunity to become a fan of your Facebook page. If you are a small company, you don’t want to reach the whole world; you just want to reach those customers that are jazzed about your business and what it is you have to offer.”
As Facebook continues to attract older professionals, it is becoming one of the best places to promote your business blog or website.
In a recent guest post at ProBlogger, Steve Schwartz, a professional LSAT tutor explained how he has used Facebook to promote his blog and expand his community of readers.
The social network gives his blog readers the opportunity to interact with each other in a way that comments can’t. Facebook’s discussion boards allow users to exchange messages and interact through conversation.
Here’s some of his advice on how to get started:
1. Create a Facebook group. Don’t make the group about your blog directly. Instead, choose a broader topic so people searching on Facebook for a certain topic will feel welcomed to join.
2. Invite your friends. Some of your existing friends may want to join your new group, and some may not. Either way, the invitation will show up on your friends’ news feeds, turning it into a viral marketing mechanism.
3. Tell your blog readers about it. Post a link to your Facebook group in the sidebar of your blog. Write a brief post on your new group for those who didn’t notice the new link. Tell your readers how they will benefit from becoming a member.
4. Join other groups. Look for Facebook groups related to your blog topic. Post messages on their Wall or discussion boards notifying the group’s members of your group and your blog. Spread out the information over a series of posts to make sure you don’t get banned from the group for spamming.
With his efforts, Facebook quickly became one of Steve’s biggest sources of traffic, without having to spend much time on maintenance.
“In order to get more readers, you need to have a presence where they are. For me and for many bloggers these days, our present and future readers spend their time in social networking sites.”