When talking to recent college grads (job hunters), I always ask if they’re on Facebook. I don’t want to stalk them online, but I’m curious to know if they consider Facebook to be a tool beyond an online picture gallery yet.
Most of the business and communications majors I’ve met realize the strength of Facebook as the marketing tool it has become, but to many college students, Facebook is still personal. I can understand why.
At 26, I’m a peer to Mark Zuckerberg. No, I didn’t go to Exeter and Harvard. I don’t have a movie about me out right now, and okay, I’m not worth $6.9 billion. But we are just three months apart in age and were both college sophomores when Zuckerberg launched Thefacebook.
That’s not a typo. Once Thefacebook made its way to The University of Alabama, where I was in school, that’s exactly what it was called. My sorority sisters and I typed in ‘www.thefacebook.com’ to log on to this new phenomenon. Of course we had to use our email addresses ending in @ua.edu if we wanted access to this exclusive club.
To us, it was just an online directory of our fellow classmates. We could enter information about ourselves, upload a headshot, check out other students, and that’s about it. A few months later, we saw that we could share photos, and we thought Facebook had reached its highest peak. Boy, were we wrong.
We all know how the story continues. On Aug. 25, 2006, Mashable wrote:
“Facebook is the second largest social network on the web, behind only MySpace in terms of traffic…Mashable’s shiny new Facebook account is HERE – feel free to add Mashable to your friends if you sign up, or you’re already a member.” (notice the link takes you to Pete Cashmore’s personal page)
Add Mashable to your friends IF you sign up, or you’re already a member?
With more than 500 million active users today, Facebook has become the world’s third largest country. Every major brand in the world has a presence on Facebook, and more than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month.
Maybe one day, someone will find this blog and use it a hash mark to show how puny Facebook’s numbers were in 2010, but for now one thing seems certain. Facebook will be around for a while and will continually evolve, so if you’re looking to get into the business of communications, you better get on board. I’m talking to you, job hunters.
You better look into what it takes to create a successful Facebook presence for a brand and realize that social media has become an integral part of nearly every business’ marketing plan. It’s more than an overwhelming website of updates, tags and pictures. You may hear others my age say, “Back in my day Facebook was…” But that doesn’t do us any good today. You’ve graduated, and so has Facebook.