Facebook is the world's most popular social networking website. Founded in 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg Facebook was originally called thefacebook. Facebook was originally created for, and limited to, a group Harvard University students as a means to stay in touch when they had left campus. Access was later granted to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League and Stanford University. Over time it added support for students at various other universities, high-school students and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over.
A user has to register and create a personal account before being able to use Facebook. Once registered, users can upload photographs and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends and family. Users can also join common-interest groups or follow updates from businesses, brands, organisations or even celebrities.
The timeline acts as a virtual bulletin board. Messages posted to a timeline can be text, video or image. While there is no limit as to the quantity of images or video, Facebook does reserve the right to remove copyrighted or inappropriate content. Once content has been added to your timeline it becomes visible to your friends and depending on your privacy settings possibly to other Facebook users.
Facebook Pages are for businesses, brand, organisations or even celebrities to share their stories and connect with people. Much like a personal timeline, pages can be customised by posting stories, hosting events, adding apps in addition to many other options. Pages are used to engage and grow an audience through regular, relevant and interesting posts. These posts are then displayed in the timelines of those who have liked your page in a similar fashion as personal timelines perform.
Facebook Pages much like personal Facebook accounts have a variety of privacy settings, however are usually open and visible even if not logged into Facebook in any way. This offers yet another avenue that potential business partners, clients or fans may find a Facebook page
Facebook Pages can be created and managed from a personal Facebook account. If a user wants to create a Page to represent a brand, business, organisation or celebrity they must be an official representative.
Much of Facebook’s $7.8 Billion revenue in 2013 came from advertising. While Facebook offers a similar model of advertising as most other publishers, they do have the added benefit of being able to better tailor the ads to individuals. By being able to target friends of users who already like your page, you can actively promote that these friends like your page which acts as a referral.
While many marketers deliberate the effectiveness of Facebook ads, they are fairly unanimous that social media marketing, including Facebook, is a great medium to promote brand awareness and being able to actively engage with your audience.