Facebook is going the way 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. It is much the way that Twitter has always been and is akin to 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 that 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. This probably sounds worse than it is. People willingly give up much of their privacy when they participate in social media. Granted, 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 carelessness.
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. All this really does is make it easier to consolidate the information into one place – the news feed. By subscribing to potential customers, businesses will be able to see what they’re doing. If someone was interested in buying a car and they put in a lead at a dealership, their email address allows dealership employees 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.