Facebook Inc. is one of the most successful companies in the world. Even the biggest tech Company, Google, fails in front of Facebook when it comes to creating and maintaining a social networking service. There are many business lessons you can learn from Facebook.
Business lessons you can learn from Facebook
Long Term Vision
One of the greatest business lessons you can learn from Facebook is a Long term vision. Facebook was able to conquer over big competitors like Orkut, Google Plus, Myspace, etc. because of its long term vision. Facebook has a motto “Capture and Retain”. The user is the king of Facebook which makes the company work really hard to make users brand loyal and stick to it. It listens to its users and updates their services as and when required.
Facebook is the only social network with more than a billion active monthly users. It makes this social media network addictive as users have no other option with such large user-base.
A social network is considered successful when users find other users to socialize with. The problem with Facebook’s competitors is that users are too lazy to move to a new social network.
The company is already successful in making its users brand loyal but still 70% of the population isn’t connected to the internet. Facebook again have plans to get the first mover advantage. To carry out its long term objective and to stay in the market for long, Facebook has planned to provide free internet to those who aren’t connected to the internet yet. Internet.org, and Aquila drone are two of such initiatives. By providing free internet, Facebook will not only create future prospective users but also will set their image as a company which cares about the society.
Network first money later
Facebook has been doing this from the start. It builds a network first, make users loyal and addicted to the service and then monetize it. The only way to make users get addicted to a social media network is to increase its reach and make it easy to use by fitting it to users resources. Facebook has it all.
Started for educational purpose, Facebook.com is now the world’s biggest social networking website with over 1.79 billion monthly active users. To build this network, Facebook.com was updated and adapted to various needs of people residing all over the world . 2G and low end devices were taken into consideration while launching facebook in asian countries. New features like newsfeed, trends, application integration, etc. were introduced to make the website more userfriendly and addictive.
Photo sharing application with a same USP as that of Facebook -the userbase. Instagram currently has 500 million monthly active users.
The leading mobile Instant messaging application which provides its service to more than a billion users. Whatsapp was bought by facebook in 2014 and is still in the phase of increasing the network as facebook plans a different revenue model for whatsapp.
Users are the greatest asset of Facebook. They make money for Facebook.
Users are served as products to the advertisers. Hence Facebook makes sure that users stick to its services. An average user spend around 50 minutes daily on Facebook suite of applications(excluding whatsapp).Facebook, to make sure the users remain with them, provide high user-friendly interface and advertisements.
The company faced a big challenge when it extended its service to Asian countries where low speed internet and low end phones were prevalent. It successfully curbed this problem by acquiring Snaptu and Onavo and releasing Facebook for every phone and Facebook lite. Similarly Facebook has succeeding in getting more users through its user oriented strategies. The team has also made it real easy for their real customers (advertisers) to use the service. Innovative and content integrated advertisements have been introduced to woo advertisers.
Facebook, being a big data mine, grabbed the opportunity to spread its hands and get more users by integrating its service with other players. Users can log into other websites using their Facebook accounts. This integration support is a part of focus on users needs, wants and demands motto. Users finds it easy to create one account on Facebook than to create different accounts for different websites.
Watch over Competitors
Facebook is leaving no stone unturned in winning over its competitors. To stay in the market and to retain its customers, Facebook has been constantly entering into new sectors by acquiring competitor companies and strategically copying their features.
Notable Facebook’s competitors include –
Myspace – Facebook learnt a lot from Myspace’s mistakes. Social networking websites were considered risky at the time Myspace and Facebook were launched. MySpace began the process of convincing people to move past that fear. Facebook ended that discussion by introducing privacy and other features.
Twitter – Facebook, though not a direct competitor of Twitter, has learnt (and copied) a lot from Twitter. The concept of hashtags, subscribe and trends were some of the notable feature which appeared on twitter first.
Google Plus – Google plus’ circles were imitated by Facebook in their new friend lists and groups.
Snapchat – Ever since Snapchat refused to be acquired by Facebook, we’ve seen many new facebook applications update which include features like those of snapchat. For example – Instagram came up with stories, whatsapp was updated with Photo stickers feature and Facebook also rolled out an update which include Lenses.
Adaptive to Change
The business environment in which a business performs is dynamic and Facebook is very adaptive to such dynamic environment. Facebook uses analytics to know about the needs, wants, demands, and expectations of the users and it makes sure that the user gets it. This can be seen in the updates of newsfeed algorithm whenever it feels that the user experience is deteriorating. Facebook has a really tough skin and doesn’t it doesn’t hesitate in copying the trend over the internet.
Know what you’re good at (and make money through it)
Facebook is a user data generating factory. It knows that no one does it better than them and hence they make money through it. User targeted advertisements had been a USP of Facebook since the start. The only challenge that Facebook faces is the integration of ads in the content to make it more appealing.
When you know your USP, it becomes easier to implement it in your revenue model.
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