In 2007 my brother started me in my on my journey into Facebook. He sent me an invite to join, and so I did. I was curious as to why he was interested as it was so outside of his wheelhouse. It turned out that he quit soon after and never had a social account after that. I was right. It was not his type of thing at all. He correctly foresaw that Facebook would become too interested in the data we shared.

When I first joined page Facebook, I couldn’t figure out what the purpose was at all. I was certainly not a visionary like its founder Mark Zuckerberg. In the beginning, the platform did not strongly engage me. I tend to be the type of person that scrolls through other people’s posts, never posting much about myself.

The Greeks Did it First

Throughout the years Facebook grew and morphed, along with other goliaths like Amazon, all racing in the same direction. Facebook presented itself as a social network. However, it has become a sophisticated marketplace that provides a social network much like an ancient Greek agora.

The Game Changes with Algorithms

My observations were that, early on, Facebook had no advertising. In a short amount of time, banner ads came into play. I understood the concept of banner ads as they are so like traditional print advertising. What followed was nothing I could have predicted. Regardless of whether I posted personal stuff, Facebook algorithms gathered information non-stop. What I watched, clicked on, and engaged with became collected data that marketers used to determine the likelihood of me buying a service or a product. Ingenious!

With all the data collection, Facebook, along with most other social accounts, became adept at presenting me with ads tailored to my interests and needs. It is only natural that regardless of my early lack of interest in purchasing an item through Facebook, I would eventually come around to the idea. The algorithms work like a personal shopper who saves me valuable time. Dialing into my interests and offering me significant savings are effective ways to sell me a product or service. The other day I purchased a set of photography presets to use on my social media posts. A social media influencer I follow had a promotion for the preset package, and as I’ve been a long-time admirer of her work, I trusted that the presets would be great for my photos. I clicked on the deal and followed through to the checkout.

Change is Inevitable

Facebook has changed for me over the years in that it has become a business networking tool. It became unavoidable for me not to mix personal with business. Business contacts become acquaintances, then friends. They requested that I add them to my Facebook network. There is no easy way to tell a business acquaintance that you’d rather not mix personal with the business regarding Facebook. These days I have many business contacts on my Facebook page. It turns out that there are definite benefits. It is enabled me to get to know particular business acquaintances better, learning more about their personalities and personal lives. It’s much easier to remember them, keep them in mind, and ask them about themselves the next time I encounter them.

Another way that Facebook has become a business tool is through the use of its events calendar. I regularly check to see which events are happening in and around my area. It’s helpful to see which Facebook friends are perhaps attending the same event. Facebook prompts you with the events your friends and acquaintances are interested in attending. I find this convenient and valuable. It gives me the incentive and motivation to network in person when I know a friendly face will be there to greet me.

Many Facebook subscribers are combining personal and business on their page. Recently a Facebook friend was posting content marketing to her stories regarding her business. I decided to reach out and speak to her about the possibility of doing business together. We were happy to catch up on our personal lives and were also able to initiate a business relationship. Because of Facebook, the distance of 3000 miles was no barrier to building a new business relationship. Being open to opportunities is the key. There will always be new doors to open; we just have to walk through them.

Quick Facebook Tips for the Entrepreneur:

  • Be open to change.
  • Be mindful that your page is public.
  • Grow your business connections.
  • Follow events in your area.
  • Consider attending virtual events.
  • Add a business page.
  • Host events.
  • Don’t ignore all advertising. Some of it may be perfect for you.