Does Facebook Still Matter?

Facebook-LogoThe stillborn Facebook IPO will likely be the biggest business story of the year, but the follow-up is one of more practical import. Specifically, does your business really need Facebook any more?

It’s not a question of reach: With nearly a billion users, everyone you’re likely to sell anything to is on Facebook. The question is whether they care.

I know my use of Facebook has dropped precipitously in recent months, and I’m not alone. It’s not just that we have less time to look at baby pictures and read funny bon mots about celebrities. It’s more about how I prefer to interact with businesses. For me (and many, I assume), Facebook is still a medium for personal connections with people I know.

For broader connections with casual acquaintances, business associates, fans of my writing, and companies I’m interested in, I prefer Twitter. And compared to Facebook, my use of Twitter is increasing. It’s just easier to communicate with brands here, and, more importantly, it’s less intrusive. (Put it this way: I’d much rather get a couple of lines of text from Kraft in my Twitter feed than a gargantuan picture of cheese pasted into my Facebook timeline.)

So, while I still recommend clients pursue both Facebook and Twitter to reach customers, I recommend the emphasis be put on the latter. Of course, you still have to have something to talk about on either one — so keep your blogging activity running no matter what.