Facebook is doing something similar to that of Twitter and Google+ in the way they allow people to view others’ feeds. By introducing the subscribe button, Facebook is allowing users to follow people within their stream even if they are not friends. This is basically the way that Twitter has always been and is somewhat like what Google+ offers in allowing people to add others to their circles.
What does this mean for business? Will big-ticket businesses like real estate and the automotive industry be able to use this feature to help with their business?
All it takes is an email address. If the email address is attached to a user’s Facebook account, businesses will be able to learn A LOT about that person. They will see what they’re posting on Facebook, have a list of all of their friends, and keep track of their comings and goings. It sounds worse than it is. Keep in mind that people willingly give up much of their privacy when they participate in social media. It is true, many are not aware that what they post is publicly visible, nor are they aware that they have options to make everything less public, but it’s still their fault if they are “spied” upon.
The tools are there. The options are there. People simply choose to stay public, whether willingly or out of ignorance.
The subscribe button isn’t a game-changer for most. When posts are public, one simply has to visit the person’s wall to see what they’re doing. What this does is make it easier to consolidate the information into one place – the news feed. By subscribing to their potential customers, businesses will be able to see what they’re doing. If someone was interested in buying a Nissan Altima in Boston and they put in a lead at a Nissan dealership, their email address allows that Massachusetts Nissan Dealer to find and subscribe to them easily. Then, if they’re talking to their friends and family on Facebook asking for advice, the dealership employees will know and be able to react.
It’s subtle. It’s something that most will not utilize. Those who do, however, will have insights into their potential customers in ways they never have before.