Saturday, July 23, 2011

Facebook Comes to Longmeadow

Facebook has been around since 2004 starting out as a social network at Harvard University.  Now there are approximately 630 million Facebook users in the world; 95 million users in the United States and an estimated 3500 users in the town of Longmeadow, MA.

Some additional average user figures and facts:
  • Average user has 130 friends. 
  • Average user spends 15½ hours/ month on FB.
  • Average user visits FB 40 times per month.
  • Average user spends ~ 23 minutes during each visit.
  • 200 million people globally access FB via a mobile device each day.
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each day.
  • FB generates a staggering 770 billion page views per month.
Demographics of FB users in the United States
See reference for above data.

Facebook started with people sharing personal information on their personal profile pages….it now has moved to become a much broader communications tool with the introduction of business and organization fanpages.  

At last count Coca Cola had 32.5 million fans on their business fanpage and it was growing by 300,000 every week.  A fan is a Facebook user who has visited the Coca Cola fanpage and clicked the “LIKE” button at the top of the page.  The FB user does not need to revisit the fanpage again since all of the Coca Cola fanpage content will automatically be delivered and posted on their FB profile page.

If the information is interesting, the FB user can simply click the “LIKE” button or add a comment to the post and it is then shared with all of their FB friends.

Consider this… if Coca Cola adds a new entry on their fanpage, immediately this information is displayed on the FB profile pages of their 32.5 million fans.  If only 1% of the Coca Cola fans click the "like" button or add a comment (with the average FB user having 130 friends), this information is then sent to the FB profiles of at least another 40-45 million FB users assuming there are no friend-friend duplications.  That is quite an extraordinary reach.  Since FB relies upon friend-friend interactions, movement of information in this manner can occur with great speed and be of great influence.

This is the power of Facebook- which the world has recently witnessed during the emergence of the freedom initiatives in Egypt and elsewhere.  Facebook is no longer the place where college drinking photos are unintentionally (or intentionally) shared with family, friends and business colleagues.  It has become a medium for social interaction of much greater importance.
What can Facebook do for Longmeadow?

From what I have found there are only 2 Facebook fanpages in Longmeadow that have more than 150 fans so at this point there is no effective central point for dissemination of local information.

LongmeadowBiz- 219 fans
LongMeddowe Days- 170 fans- this fanpage is for the annual town celebration

An effective fanpage for Longmeadow will likely require about 1000-2000 fans in order to have a potential reach for the entire town.  Hopefully, as people become more comfortable with Facebook, the number of FB users in town will also grow which is likely given the remarkable growth and favorable publicity that Facebook has received over the past year.

The LongmeadowBiz fanpage was created in November 2010 as an online communications network for Longmeadow residents and town businesses.  If you visit the LongmeadowBiz fanpage you find that it is open for public participation by anyone who has a Facebook account.  Posting of information of interest to Longmeadow town residents (events, town/ school / community items, etc.) is encouraged.

Postings will be monitored and those who post objectionable content will be reported to Facebook and banned from posting in the future.  I am hopeful that this open venue will not be sabotaged and forced to become a closed venue.

For those who are new to Facebook, you can view the LongmeadowBiz fanpage (<-- simply click this link) without becoming a user.  Your privileges will be limited until you create a Facebook account.

I would encourage everyone to take a look at the LongmeadowBiz fanpage and if the content is of interest, please click the "LIKE" button at the top of the page and become a FAN.

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