Afew hours ago, FaceBook announced that it now allows users to tag a person in a status update by adding the “@” symbol before their name. So, “I like @DonnaJohnson” would appear in a status update as, “I like DonnaJohnson,” with a link to her page, thus facilitating the type of instant connection that now takes place on Twitter.
While much of the conversation about this new feature centers around competition between FaceBook and Twitter, for small and independent business owners such as the ones I serve in the Indie Beauty Network, the move is significant for other reasons. Here are some of them.
The Importance Of Being There. As FaceBook and Twitter continue to grow in popularity, Indies who are not proactively participating will be quickly eliminated. Finding information on the Web is great, but that information is far more relevant to your customers when it is filtered through the lens of their friends.
The more our customers rely on their friends’ social networking pages for the information they need to enhance their lives, the more present you need to be within those pages.
Link Love. As more social applications make it easier and more engaging to link away from content being consumed at any given time, small business owners are challenged to attract people to their websites in part to tell them where else they can go. This is painful for some. After all, we maintain websites to attract people to do business with us, not to send them someplace else.
But as social tools continue to create that expectation, we will have to deal with it. Get used to the idea of finding the delicate balance between using your site to attract business and using it to attract people who come there looking to you to tell them where else they can go.
The Company You Keep. As you chat on FaceBook and link away to your friends’s pages, you, your business and the products and services you offer will become more and more associated with your friends whose pages you are linking to.
One way people decide whether to do business with you is to check out the people you are already doing business with. This means that questionable links, connections and conversations at your site and social networking pages will reflect poorly on you.
More tagging capabilities, coupled with customers' increased expectations that we be authentic and transparent, make it imperative that we carefully choose our professional associates. For some, this may mean implementing a new set of professional boundaries.
Question: Do you think you’ll enjoy the new FaceBook capability? Why or why not?