Timeline is the most recent product innovation (September 2011). This feature allows users to frame their page as a story. It also allows users to include more media such as music and movies. Other new product introductions include photos (where users can share photos about activities), newsfeeds (would provide a summary of recent activity of others that you subscribe to) and groups (which is a customizable area for connecting with friends).
Facebook makes most of its revenue through advertising. Their argument is that your customers are using Facebook everyday as the way that they interact with friends. There are three steps to engage with your customers on Facebook. First of all you create your own business page which is free for businesses and is a way of engaging in relationship marketing. So a business would promote a Facebook page on a website, on a business card or any other marketing communication. Then Facebook reason that you should engage with your customers by conversing with them. This means regular posts and offers. You should respond to their comments (although this would work best for a much smaller company) and you will learn how they actually engage with your site or page by using Facebook insights (which is the Facebook metrics tool). Finally you would create an advert, rather like you would with Google Adwords. You also have the opportunity to run a sponsored story. It is advertising that generate most income for Facebook.
Facebook is free. There is no subscription.
Income is made through advertising. You pay for Facebook ads and sponsored stories. Advertisers control their advertising expenses by setting daily or lifetime budgets. Costs are not set in stone. Charges are made by clicks (CPC) or by impressions (CPM) for each advert or story. There are tools on Facebook that help you to work out potential Marketing Budgets. There is a bidding process for popular terms and keywords.
Everything is done online either by using a computer or by using a cellphone or mobile device. One simply registers by the Facebook website to create an account. If you have a cellphone you can download an app and use the social network whilst on the go.
The business itself is physically based at 1601 Willow Road, Menio Park, California. The company currently employs more than 3000 people and it is planning to increase its workforce to about 6600 people. Facebook is about to build a new campus on the other side of Route 84. Facebook in common with Google and other tech companies calls its buildings a campus, rather like the University.
Of course Facebook has a few well-known faces of its own. Mark Zuckberg is the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook. The story of this business is now firmly embedded in popular knowledge. This is how the story goes if you haven’t already heard it 100 times! Facebook began in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dormitory room back in 2004. Originally membership was limited to Harvard students but was expanded out to other American universities quite quickly. It spread to all universities and then high schools as well, and then of course the rest of the world!
Other well-known names include fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.
Facebook Marketing Mix
Facebook is a free social networking service. Once you have signed up you create your own profile and publish photographs. You can publish personal information such as your interests, your contact information and so on. Privacy has been a constant issue with Facebook, and more recently users now have the ability to control their settings and to tier their friends and so on.
Facebook has more than 845 million monthly users (December 2011). More than 80% of these active users are from outside North America. Would you like to take a lesson on the marketing mix?