Facebook & the Strange Engagement Arrangement: #TChat Recap

Just because I like you, doesn’t mean we’re friends. At least on Facebook.

I’m talking about the strange engagement arrangement between companies, associations, non-profits, clubs, professional groups, other groups, events — and their followers. Or, more appropriately, their fans who “like” them by clicking on a thumbs-up tab and then getting streams of information from those groups. Maybe even posting a comment or two at times on those group pages.

It’s not really a town hall meeting, or an intimate community even, although there are sporadic bursts of interactivity, but Facebook is a universe unto itself — and the over 750 million active users.

Consider these statistics from Facebook:

  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
  • The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
  • More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites.
  • There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

And the Facebook valuation — what is it now, $100 billion? — doesn’t go without being noticed by a wealthy contingent of investor “friends.” A new study shows that 46% of online users with investible assets of $1 million or more are members of Facebook, up from 26% a year ago. The survey, by Spectrem Group, showed that millionaire’s use of Twitter has declined, from 5% to 3%.

Guess they aren’t participating in #TChat, are they. At least not yet!

Then there’s the revenue streams for Facebook — the advertising, the gaming, the recruiting. The recruiting that’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. LinkedIn may be the granddaddy career management network with a sweet recent IPO, but I’m hearing more and more how companies are using Facebook to source and recruit applicants. There’s danger in using Facebook to hire, but that doesn’t stop the vast majority of savvy recruiting and hiring managers. There are also dozens and dozens of recruiting apps plugged into Facebook, two of which include BeKnown and BranchOut.

750 million active users. You do the math.

Then there’s my grand fenceless Facebook experiment I wrote about yesterday. There are those who maintain lists, streams, groups, circles, buckets, sandboxes, canyons, firewalls — you name it. And for good reason: cyber warfare, hacking, identity theft, online bullying and child predators are much bigger problems today than they were 10 years ago while the ability for some of us to control our impulses is tenuous, running around our houses naked with the curtains drawn and shades pulled up committing various unseemly, even unlawful acts.

Then there are folks like me. Call me crazy, but my head and heart can’t separate my work and personal worlds; I just can’t fence them off. My grand social media experiment has worked so far for me because I feel I’m connecting with more people as a person, regardless of our connections initially — the great virtual melting pot. What’s interesting is that at a time when I can’t even get my next door neighbors to have a block party, I can connect, collaborate and commiserate virtually with anyone (and any entity) anywhere in the world. But, if anyone doesn’t want to “buy what I’m selling,” then they can turn me off, just like they can turn off other companies and “brands.”

No harm, no foul.

Who knows where Facebook will go in the next 5 to 10 years, but odds are we’ll be more and more assimilated into its universe — mainlining the strange engagement arrangement straight into our veins every minute of every day. Right on.

Wait, what’s Google+ again?

You can read the Facebook #TChat preview here and here were the questions from last night:

  • Q1: What are some interesting or innovative ways businesses are using Facebook effectively?
  • Q2: Do you engage with brands or companies on Facebook?  Why or why not?
  • Q3: Where does Facebook fit into job search and recruiting/hiring?  Is it an effective tool for recruiting?
  • Q4: What are some important reminders for organizations when creating a Facebook presence?
  • Q5: Many think Facebook will replace e-mail.  What other business applications might it augment or replace?
  • Q6: What does the future of Facebook look like in 5 years?  10?  How will it impact businesses and careers?

We’re still filling out the roster, but the second #TChat Radio episode is titled “The Realities of Business Heresy” — based on a recent 12 Most post by Ted Coiné — and welcomes the business leaders of 12 Most. Please join us on 8/31/11!

The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro and @KevinWGrossman, and powered by our friends @MattCharney and @CatyKobe, and partners @TalentCulture, @Monster_WORKS, @MonsterCareers, @12Most and of course @Focus.

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