26 December 2011's First Year On Facebook

Yesterday it was one year since I created a page for Community on Facebook. It was something “everyone” did, but I actually did not know much about Facebook and had not used it earlier. Today it is interesting to see that the Community page fills an important function even though it has not developed in the direction I envisaged.

Expectations on exchange of ideas 
When I created the Facebook page I hoped it would be a place for discussions among Members of Community. We had then talked for a rather long time about creating a forum for users of the Office applications, but we never found the time for really doing it. Maybe the Facebook page could be something similar? I never dreamed about thousands of “fans”, but I hoped to get a reasonably steady group of contributors. Facebook page

Not the Forum I had thought
I had pictured a page where Community Members and other interested parties would comment our Outlook add-ons, ask questions about features and usage and give suggestions on enhancements. But those discussions have stayed in support e-mails and online chats, between the staff and the individual Members. It has not at all found its way to the Facebook Community page.

More than the foreseen fan category
After only a few weeks the new Community page had 30 Facebook fans. They were of course the team members, and a number of enthusiastic Community Members liked the page at once. This was as expected, as well as the users who dropped in later. But we were also delighted to see that so many of our friends and relatives wanted to follow the doings of via Facebook. This was a nice surprise, because we work in a specialized niche and not everyone can understand what we really do.

Diversified group
Today the Facebook page has more than 50 fans, and they are a mixed company. One dominant group is of course users of our products, and another one is friends and relations to both the Swedish and the Indian team members. Then there are also a few people we don’t know, with whom we have had no other contact.

The fans are spread over the world, just like the software. 16 comes from Sweden, 14 from India and 10 from the US. We have also two fans in Russia and Malaysia and one in each of the countries Netherlands, Moldova, Finland, Poland, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Estonia and Norway.

A different kind of meeting place
The Facebook fans like our entries and comment on them now and then in a few words, but they never actually bring something new into the discussion. It seems that following the page instead has been a convenient way to get information about what happens to the products and the team members and to learn when a new blog post is published and what it is about. Articles are often commented on at our Facebook page instead of here in the blog itself.

Keeping the Facebook page up to date is a quick and enjoyable task, and even though it did not turn out to be like I thought it would, it serves a purpose. We reach more people via Twitter and LinkedIn, but to clearly Facebook is the most social of the social media.

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