Right now, more than 1.2 billion people use Facebook worldwide. As usual, Mark Zuckerberg is setting lofty goals for the company and its technology. Mobile is a big deal. Virtual reality will be a big deal (says Zuckerberg). Working with developers to create cross-platform apps is a big focus, and making Facebook more stable so it can handle and promote increased development is a necessity. Zuckerberg talks in-depth about the future of Facebook in a recent article on WIRED.com, and it’s sort of hard to imagine what any of it means for ordinary users and small businesses.
Here’s our big takeaway: CONTENT is still the key to social media.
Zuckerberg thinks Facebook is more than just a communication tool — it’s becoming a knowledge tool. Think about it: people are constantly sharing information via Facebook. Opinions, product reviews, movie and music preferences, vacation tips, miscellaneous advice, and lots more bits of information/knowledge can be gleaned from what people share and post on Facebook. Zuckerberg thinks if they can harness all that knowledge and present it in useful ways to users when they need it, they’ll “change how people think about social networks from being just about communication to being about knowledge and answering useful questions.”
For us small businesses, it becomes important what we share. Sure, photos and personality still matter. People want to know that you’re real people and not some soulless company. But giving helpful information about your products and services, as well as other areas of expertise, will net you the greatest return in the social media world. Given Facebook’s latest treatment of business pages, it’s likely that only 10 or 12 people will your next post. Is there a chance someone will see it in some search results down the road and find it helpful…and become your customer? Only Zuckerberg knows…