I’ve added another autographed book on social media to my growing collection. Last Thur. evening, I asked best-selling author Justin Levy, Director of Business Development, Marketing, and Client Relations of New Marketing Labs, to sign the second edition of Facebook Marketing: Designing Your Next Business Campaign, at a recent book launch, in Boston, Ma. Sponsored by the Massaachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX), the bash was held at Red Sky, on North Street, appropriately enough, in the shadow of Faneuil Hall Marketplace—one of the nation’s oldest marketplaces—a vital business and civic hub in Boston, for more than 250 years.
Facebook as Modern-Day Marketplace
The similarities between the needs Facebook serves today, as a virtual meeting-place, with those served so successfully, up through the present, by the historic Boston marketplace, resonated very strongly in my mind, that June evening. Fresh off my reading experience of The ClueTrain Manifesto, I couldn’t help but think that the many tweet-ups, meet-ups, and other occasions to connect across Boston and beyond, all speak to a collective, age-old longing for community. It’s just the medium that’s changed—one which enhances connection when physical barriers make meeting in person difficult, and one which ultimately leads us back to connecting directly, when there aren’t those limitations.
Markets Are Conversations
If markets are indeed conversations, as The ClueTrain Manifesto suggests, then Levy’s book launch was a great example of that principle, in motion. I especially enjoyed chatting about all things blogging and social media, with very enthusiastic staff from the New Media Labs team, including Benjamin Abrams and Erica Templeman. (Erica: As an on-again/off-again freelancer, I’ll enjoy checking out the Work-shifting site you manage, maintained by Citrix Online and New Marketing Labs.)
I have only just started reading and skimming Facebook Marketing, along with several other books I’m reading simultaneously, right now. So far, I’m finding it very helpful. I especially like the chapter, “Using Facebook to Develop Communities.” There, Levy captures the essence of the Facebook community.
At a basic level, Facebook represents one large community. Within that large community, a limitless number of subcommittees form. People form communities around their interests, hobbies, events, companies, products, services, celebrities, schools, or even favorite foods. We form and use these communities in the same way we would in the physical world. We engage with one another, form bonds, share interesting articles, upload photos and videos, and invite others with similar interests to join our communities (p. 143).
He goes on to offer these tips on how to build a community for your company, product, or service: uploading photos, uploading video, asking questions, providing exclusives, and more.
He also discusses building different types of communities, including internal communities, focus groups, and personal communities. Coming from mostly high tech environments, I’m especially intrigued by the use of Facebook as a way to get folks collaborating, within the enterprise, as well as a way to work on agile software development, directly with customers. Facebook Marketing’s chapter on Community, complements all these interests.