Facebook & Social Media
Social Media seems to have taken off in a huge way, and it is not just Facebook, though clearly the dominant player. Social Media gives a voice to anyone who has an account and an Internet connection. This has been empowering at a level beyond what anyone could have expected. Each one of us is given the power to share the important and the meaningful things in our lives, and it transpires that we use it for really important things like "I have a hangover' or photos of meals had in unusual places.
Before we are too silly about it we should remember that Social Media has been a significant factor in changing three governments (USA, Lybia and Egypt) and if you look at the political parties on Australia running up to elections they have teams of people monitoring and engaging in the social discussion. The Greens are clearly front runners here, closely followed by the ALP, and you can be the coalition is playing catch up right now.
Facebook is now turning its hand at monetising this enormous resource they have developed, and in my view it they will need to do it well, for it is the very non-commercial nature of Facebook that has been its great strength.
Businesses and Organisations that want to play in social should consider the risks involved and think carefully about how they go about it. You voice for a product is one voice, and one unhappy customer represents often a much louder voice, so that is a risk. Commercially it makes sense to have your own website, and to post on your website, and then to post from the website to your social media company page, be that Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in or all three. That way you have control over the home base and that seems to me to be important for those who do not want their brand trashed.