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August 29, 2007

How Did Facebook Become so Popular?

Have You Heard Of Facebook.com?
By now, you are probably familiar with the popular social-networking website called Facebook. Facebook has more than 19 million registered users across 47,000 regional, work-related, college or high-school networks. I Was Skeptical At First Initially, I was very reluctant to embrace the Facebook phenominon. However, my friends kept asking me “Hey Vincent, are you on Facebook?”…”Did you join Facebook yet” “You need to visit Facebook.” This went on for weeks.

Surprisingly, when I checked my Hotmail account, I also received invites from dozens of friends including Andre, David, Trisha, Renee and Kevin

How Did Facebook Become So Popular, So Fast?
Finally, I decided to visit this website called Facebook. Once and for all, I wanted to discover why Facebook is so popular. I wanted to know how they managed to gain millions of members in a few short months? How did they become so big, so fast? I had to know the truth. I wanted to know their secret!

Facebook’s Secret Exposed
Aside from having an easy to navigate layout, the ability to keep tabs on friends, great content, and, amazing search capabilities, Facebook is utilizing one of the most powerful viral marketing strategies ever conceived.

It’s so simple, but yet extremely powerful. Once my account was created, I immediately clicked on the friends tab. I noticed a drop down menu with several options including Invite Friends. Once clicked, I was taken to a page that allowed me to Import Email Addresses from my Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and Gmail. I was also greeted with the following message:

“Enter your email login info below and Facebook will securely import your contacts from your address book.”

I simply inserted my email address and password and instantly all 78 of my Hotmail contacts appeared before me. With one click of a button, I was able to invite all my contacts to join Facebook.

I Quickly Realized The Power of This Application
After using this tool to instantly invite all 78 of my Hotmail contacts; I quickly realized the power of this application! What impressed me the most was how simple it was to import and invite all of my contacts. Unlike traditional tell-a-friend forms, it only took a few seconds to invite 78 people using Facebook’s PHP address book importer.

By implementing this viral marketing strategy, Facebook has become one the most popular websites online.

5 Reasons Why Traditional Tell-A-Friend Forms Are Obsolete!

  • They forced your visitors to manually input email addresses.
  • Your visitors must also manually type the name beside each email address.
  • Most forms only have around 10 input fields. Remember, the average person, has over 100 web mail contacts. Why limit yourself?
  • People are lazy. Nobody wants to sit around and insert dozens of email addresses into your form!
  • Ongoing subscription fees.

Once you make the decision to upgrade to a PHP address book importer. You will need to implement a variety of marketing strategies to maximize your success. In other words, simply installing such a script is NOT good enough.

3 Viral Marketing Strategies Facebook uses to EXPLODE Their Online Business Strategy (You should too)

#1: Motivate Your Visitors!
We live in a very selfish world. I’m sure you have a fabulous website. However, nobody is going tell his or her friends about it without asking the following question what’s in it for me? You will be surprised what people will do if you provide the right incentive! Offering Free Giveaways is a good place to start.

#2: Don’t Hide Your Tell-A-Friend Link
Hiding your link is a huge mistake. This is very frustrating to me. Most webmasters will place their tell-a-friend link at the bottom of their web page. They place it in some remote area of their web page and wonder why nobody uses it.

You must add your tell-a-friend link to the main navigation of your website. For example, most websites will have “About us” “Contact Us” “Products” added to the primary navigation. Your tell-a-friend link must also be added to the primary navigation of your website.

Strategy #3: It’s All In The Name
Here’s an idea. Instead of using the same boring link title “tell-a-friend” Why not say “Free Ipod” “Free Coupon”, “Free E-Book” This will cause your visitors to actually click on the link. At that point, you can provide contest details / instructions. Viral marketing is not a fad or gimmick. It’s a real marketing strategy that can increase the profitability of your business. Adding a PHP address book importer to your arsenal will instantly provide your visitors an easy way of inviting others to your website.

Facebook is already utilizing these strategies and technologies, and thriving for it. Why shouldn’t you?

Author:  Vincent Newton is the creator of Friend Inviter, http://www.friendinviter.com
Friend Inviter a powerful PHP address book importer that helps webmasters to increase traffic to their websites.

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