The other day we were having a friend of my husband’s over for dinner. He happens to be a very brilliant person who after a long stint with the IT industry decided to start his own venture. When the business was doing well, he sold that to a bigger company, only to start a new enterprise. I was marvelling at his spirit and genius as he was telling us, enthusiastically, about his new innovative project in a field which is relatively unknown to general people. Then he said something that made me think. And write this article!

He said, “I don’t like being on Facebook!” Of course, I had started that thread of conversation, being very passionate about Social Media. This comment took me back some years and I had a very vivid memory of my father telling me that he didn’t like mobile phones at all. Mobile, according to him, was a childish fad. That he owns a latest touch phone model with all those jazzy features he can’t live without now, is another story.

My husband’s friend is not the only one. There are so many entrepreneurs, and serious ones at that, who have this block. According to the nay-sayers, Facebook is an amusement tool for teenagers and bored housewives. Yes, it is. But so is mobile phone. That doesn’t deter a businessman from using it for his work, does it? Or more importantly, should it?

Believe it or not, there are more than 400 million people on Facebook. That’s a pretty staggering number. On average, more than 50% of these users log on to the site every single day. A typical user has about 130 friends. You might think Facebook is just for kids, but 55% of the users are above 25 years of age. In total, users spend more than 500 billion minutes on Facebook every month.

When you ask yourself the question of why you may want to embrace social media, there is the answer. People are there and they’re using it. It’s where your customers and clients are spending time. It’s where they’re connecting online and where they expect you to be. This is where you get the ‘pulse’ of the market. When did you have such an easy access to such a vast audience before? There are so many instances where people have had phenomenal success and profit using Facebook the right way.  They say that the most important business deals happen over dining table. Facebook is the new social dining table. Saying “I don’t like using Facebook” in today’s age is equivalent to saying “I don’t like talking to people (and yes, I want my business to be a success)”.

Like it or not, Facebook is how people are talking these days. What I am saying here is that using Facebook doesn’t necessarily means opening up your personal life for everyone to see. Don’t upload your photos if you don’t want to. And you are not really required to update your status every time you walk your dog or sneeze. Don’t share frivolous things if that is not your thing (though, that is fun too!) Facebook a tool and a very powerful one. Use it for your advantage any which way you like but dismissing with a shrug is just not a smart move. Only thing that you need to do is to learn the effective know-how. Of course, new and better tools will come along later. I recommend moving on with times. Facebook is here today, make the best of it, others are!

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Dinakshi is a curious explorer of life, and loves to see everything around her with a sense of wonder. Completely in awe of life and its ardent student, she is a writer, poet, blogger and ex-editor. Her superpower is involuntarily read and edit everything from text messages to poetry on the backside of trucks. Like any other Indian worth their salt, she’s done her time in the IT industry as a programmer. Books and journals have been her best friends for as long as she can remember. A philosopher at heart, she loves to question everything, including her propensity to question. An avid learner and unlearner, she is on a joyful path to live all that is.