surf the web or facebookAs I was writing a blog post the other day without thinking I included the words “surfing Facebook”.

Who “woulda thunk” five years ago I would visit Facebook more than the web?  And what is the web anyway? Is the web a website? Nope! Is the web Google?  Nope! Is the web Facebook? Nope! The web is all of the above.  It is the melding of everything we do online.  From widgets, tweets, blogs to music and Facebook.

Why is Facebook  consuming people's time?

I do the same thing everyone else does on Facebook.  I connect with friends via posts, photos and of  course business content. I interact and engage with friends, family, co-workers, partners, mentors and even customers.

Most importantly, I get new business. Yes, leads!

Many recent new leads have came from Facebook!  Is it because they know my dog, my kids and my hubby? Sure is.

Why do they hug me when we meet face to face for the first time? Why is my time to close the sale window shortening? Because I share who I am and what I am. Either ya' like me or ya' don't!

My thought is yes, I am probably going to tick off some folks who don't like me. However, the other 95% that decide to stick around will provide me joy and I hopefully will do the same for them!  Social media is bringing to my business the people who want to do business with me. People who have the same values and beliefs as I do. People who value the content I provide.  Wow! What other medium can you connect in such an authentic, deep and meaningful way?

No wonder Facebook is beginning to feel like surfing. We can search for and find whatever we want via a Fanpage, quick search, query of top trends and “likes”.  On one page we can share a photo of our dog and kid, a blog post and invitation to a research conversation on LinkedIn. To me that is power of communication, content and community all in one place.

Yes, we can accomplish some of the same sharing on Google. However, it's not as intimate.  It's not as controlled. And most importantly it is not FREE!

On Facebook we let people in to who we are are, what we are and what we do on the weekends. Big difference.

Top 15 Reasons Why we Surf Facebook:

1. Mass Appeal: More than 500 million users on Facebook. Of the 500 million, 50% logon to Facebook any given day. 700 billion minutes per day are spent on Facebook. Over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events, community pages).  More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums) are shared each month.  *source Press statistics

2. Share: We feel power in sharing our day, our ups and downs, family photos, business wins and life! Life is meant to be shared.  Facebook gives us a way to deepen our connections and engage in our community in a very personal way. The art is learning the balance in sharing enough to engage but not overwhelm. The objective is to leverage sharing for both personal and business satisfaction and success.

3. Simplicity in Sharing & Consuming: Facebook makes it easy to share and consume different types of content such as photos, business content, videos etc.

4. Privacy: We control who sees what (to some degree). We can share a little or a lot. Although Facebook has issues in this space there is still the ability for members to control content sharing more so than Twitter and other platforms.

5. Consume and Filter Content: It's easy to consume content. Simply open up your Facebook home page or news stream and you have a stream of mostly useless content you can surf all day long! It's there for the taking and your choice how much you want to consume, at what intervals, what time and in what format.

6. Authenticity: Of course there are people who are experts at living double or triple lifestyles.  However, Facebook makes it a little big more difficult to accomplish the triple lifestyle without triple the work. It's why they only allow one profile. You are who you are. It's hard to be someone different at work, church, neighborhood groups and Twitter when they all come together on Facebook.

7. Mobile: Mobility via iPhone, Blackberry and Android keeps us from being bored while waiting at Dr. offices, long lines or on the elliptical for 50 minutes.

8. Supports Narcissist Behavior: Fan pages, like boxes, and comments fuel the narcissist soul. Others have fun watching the narcissist type feed their inner narcissist selves. The rest of us try to keep our narcissist ways under control as we try to keep colleagues, clients and grandma Jenkins happy (partly joking).

9.  Brings out the CIA in all of us:  You can spy on past colleagues, girlfriends, boyfriends, roommates and the list goes on.

10. More than 140 Characters: Simply put life can not be fully shared in 140 characters. I am one who has developed some ever lasting and real relationships via Twitter. However, those relationships have also grown deeper and stronger on Facebook.

11. Community: It supports community like no other.  From help finding a dog to finding the perfect doctor, pizza place, car battery or meetup group, you're sure to find a host of solutions with the entry of one simple question as your Facebook status!

12. Engagement: It's easy to engage. You can comment, one click like a post, add a tag, and the list goes on. You can write a note, import your blog, import your videos.

13. Immediate Feedback: What a great way to see what your friends, partners or customers think of an idea? What do they think of your latest tagline? You can get opinions in less than seconds from your closest friends or Facebook fans. I maximize this benefit on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

14. Historical Snapshot: For many active and engaged Facebook users it offers a summary of their life. It's becoming the default online photo album without most users ever making such decision.  My kids advise me if a photo I take of them with my iPhone is authorized for Facebook or not. Proof that even children are realizing the audience and the power behind even one Facebook photo upload. I have returned several times to Facebook for an event, a quote I made or something that happened two years ago that now has even more meaning today.  This is by far my favorite part of Facebook.

15. It Makes Ya' Feel Good: Simply put connecting to your friends, colleagues, family, partners and customers on a daily basis is good for the soul. Facebook makes it easy.

The brands that learn to listen, engage and inspire in social media will be the ones to succeed.  Engage folks as people are surfing your content even if you didn't create it!

Your Turn:

Do you also find yourself surfing Facebook? Where do you spend most of your time online? Why do you spend time on your favorite social platform? What do you like best or least about Facebook?

See this article syndicated on Social Media Today!