Yeah I’m on FaceBook. Just like you, your cousin, boss, daughter and millions of others are. If there were no Facebook, I really wouldn’t miss it. However, I do appreciate Facebook as it makes it easy to a) keep in touch with people and b) put a “face” to a name.
A lot (well I think most) of the applications on Facebook are pretty silly and useless. However, over the next few months you’ll see more applications designed for true business use of Facebook.
Facebook is more than just a site for networking. It’s a platform that programmers can use to run applications. One such application is UDUTU’s Learning Management System (LMS).
By tapping directly into Facebook, UDUTU gives you a head start in cutting out the need for registration and profiling those using the LMS.
With the LMS, users can publish course material, control access, track “learner” progress, collect payment and see the results once users have completed a session — all without ever leaving the Facebook site.
A purely web-based solution with no per-seat licensing fees, the new Udutu LMS brings, for the first time, course creation and learner management capabilities to a broad range of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and individuals that are unable to benefit from traditional LMSs due to their cost and complexity. The Udutu LMS for Facebook is available for free download at http://apps.facebook.com/udututeach/.
Keep in mind…
If your customers and/or audience are not Facebook users, tools that leverage Facebook, might not be something for you. The power of social networking site add-ons is that they leverage the existing interface that is already being used. If you have 500 customers and 450 of them are already using Facebook, it makes perfect sense to consider using Facebook as a foundation for connecting to your customers.
My other advice would be to have a backup and/or dual track system. If Facebook goes out of fashion and/or your customers stop using Facebook you want to offer them an easy alternative to using Facebook, such as your web site, blog or other tool/solution.
While I think Myspace is really a useless tool for most businesses, I know that millions of people use Myspace (although I’m sure much less are active users). A huge group that uses Myspace are music bands. If you want to reach musicians, bands and their fans, having a strategy for Myspace is something you might want to consider.
So there you have it. Social networks are tools – just like mobile devices, computers and web sites. The secret? How they are used and where your customers are at.
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