Evan Carmichael & Associates

Giving Your Business a Virtual Facelift

How Entrepreneurs Can Find Value in Facebook


Toronto, Ontario -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/26/2007 -- When was the last time you wrote on somebody’s wall? We’re not talking about when you were five years old and you took crayons to your mother’s gleaming white living room walls. We’re talking about on Facebook, the Palo Alto-based online networking site that is taking the world by storm. If you’re an entrepreneur and you don’t have an answer to that question, or if you don’t even know what that question means then your business is in trouble.

So says entrepreneurship expert Evan Carmichael, who has become a firm believer in the power of Facebook for businesses. “Facebook is no longer just about teens looking to find old friends, or maybe even old flames,” he suggests. “Today, Facebook is about making new connections, and everyone from your sister to your colleagues to your competitors are starting to find their way online.”

Once shunned by the corporate world in favour of the more professionally-geared LinkedIn, small and big businesses alike are beginning to embrace Facebook as a potentially valuable tool to establish and cultivate professional relationships.

According to TechCrunch, MySpace remains the leading social networking site with 46 billion page views per month, but Facebook has been slowly growing to now stand at 15 billion page views per month. And, while MySpace might be more accepted among adolescents, Facebook has proven more popular among people with a university education.

But, just how exactly can businesses make the most of the tools on this rapidly expanding site? There are a number of ways, says Carmichael.

“First of all, it’s simply a great way to connect in a much more community-oriented way than sites like LinkedIn allow. And I don’t just mean that because you can put pictures up.” Instead, Carmichael stresses the value of being able to join groups that are related to your business. “You can see who else has joined, send group messages, see or post relevant workshops and events, and so much more.”

Facebook also allows for a good opportunity to promote your company, suggests Carmichael. “You can update your status and post notes about new product developments that you’re working on next. You can post pictures of a new book you may be launching, or even advertise and sell your products in the Marketplace. You can also read other people’s updates to see if there may be room for collaboration or to lend your services.”

Once you make any changes to your profile, that information is automatically sent to all your friends’ news feeds. “So, in this sort of viral way, you can be slowly building your brand,” says Carmichael. “If you choose your friends wisely, you will be creating a very solid reputation for yourself.”

Finally, there are those entrepreneurs who are discovering the value of Facebook applications, third-part mini-programs that can run on the site. Since the platform was first made available in May, its popularity has exploded, says Carmichael, with even LinkedIn creating a job search application on Facebook. “When your competitors start coming to you, you know you’re on to something.”

The site still isn’t perfect, says Carmichael. “There needs to be more space to promote business relationships. From being able to explain in more detail how you know someone, to maintaining a separate list of professional contacts versus other friends, there’s a lot Facebook could do to broaden its appeal to business owners.”

In the meantime, however, Carmichael says it should not be overlooked. “Any entrepreneur who wants to live to see tomorrow needs to embrace the technology of tomorrow, and for now, that’s Facebook.”

Evan Carmichael is available for an interview. Please contact him at evan@evancarmichael.com.

Evan is an entrepreneur and international speaker. Evan's website, http://www.evancarmichael.com/ is the world's #1 website for small business motivation and strategies. With over 130,000 monthly visitors, 1050 contributing authors, and 22,500 pages of content no website shares more profiles of famous entrepreneurs and inspires more small business owners than EvanCarmichael.com. Evan has been interviewed by newspapers, radio stations, and television stations including The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Metro, CHUM FM, CityTV, Global TV, OMNI TV, Enterprise, and the Toronto Sun.