For some time, Facebook has been a household name. If you haven't already created an account for yourself or your business, you'll no-doubt have flirted with the idea. Of course, we occasionally hear of security/privacy threats, but all in all, most people seem pretty happy with the social network. If they're not, they're certainly doing a good job of hiding it based on the amount of time they're spending logged in!
For those of you that don't know, Facebook is on it's way to becoming so much more than just a simple way to talk to your friends. It's already introduced a facility for businesses (the popular 'Fans Pages') and more recently, Facebook has even announced plans to take over the world!
If Facebook's plans and expectations are anything to go by, creating a profile for your company is a must. By creating an account, your business can reach out to it's customers and potential clients, as well as suppliers and associations, engaging with them on a more sociable level. What's more, a 'Fans Page' provides your company with a marketing opportunity, by using Facebook's own advertising program - which has the potential to provide more of a return than advertising through other media, depending on your target audience and market of course.
The opportunities Facebook offers to it's users now, are somewhat different to those which it offered a year ago. Furthermore, the developments which are currently being introduced are expected to change how companies do business in the future.
Facebook sees the connections between you, your friends, colleagues, clients and other businesses as important parts to the social graph. So, when a client 'likes' your website (they do this by using the 'like' button Facebook has launched), it's important for their contacts to be made aware of this action, so that they too, are presented with an opportunity to find out a little more about your company. The interesting thing is, as the web becomes more social, the way in which key players within the field (ie., Facebook, Google etc) assess which sites/companies should be considered authoritative, will change. The question is, will the web become so social that a Facebook 'like' will replace (or at least become equivalent to) an inbound link (a quantity which influences how authoritative a site is seen to be by Google)?
It's not just the Facebook 'like' button which has been seen as the next measure of authority, Twitter's ReTweet button has also been discussed in this capacity.
There's no doubt in my mind that as the web moves forward, it will become more and more social, meaning things become faster moving and new means of rating sites will be needed to replace, or at least assist current ranking methods. With that said, my advice to you would be to ensure that you are engaging with social media now (particularly Twitter and Facebook), else you may miss out.