March 23rd, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

I am amazed at how many people use Facebook, but for only personal purposes.

No matter where I go, coffee shops, businesses and eateries, I find people on Facebook. “National obsession” does not even begin to describe our national lust to be connected and share the silliest of posts. And those who negate this cultural phenomenon and shift will go the way of the Dodo. They are about to land hard on their Facebook.

And while Facebook gathers tremendous amounts of new members that makes every Fortune 500 jealous, the fact remains that the majority of “brink and mortar” businesses have not embraced this as a way to not only develop new customers, but to maintain their brand loyalty by getting their core coming back for even more. And customer loyalty is a premium today that is dying like the Dodo. Studies show that it is easier to get the same type of services or products from a broader market and people wander faster than you can say “tweet.”

For example, I can tell you about 15 different places to get great Thai food within a few miles of where I work. That food is simply amazing. Got to have it once of twice a week. But the problem is that that there are so many choices. And you know what?  Not one of those amazing providers of Thai cuisine has ever asked me to join them as a friend. Imagine if they gave me a reason to join. A discount, a free Thai ice tea – something.  It’s free to them and it takes me less than a minute to join.And now we are connected as one.

Sometimes I need a reminder. I need a kick in the you know what. Facebook, and so many other social networks are about the easiest and most cost effective methods to say, “Hey, we’re friends. Why don’t you come over and visit.”

Want more Word of mouth? Need some Referrals? These are the best, right? Well, then why is America in the face of a national financial crises, not gravitating to about the most cost effective way to spur on those very referrals from word of mouth?

Man is slow to change. I am sure that the printing press was seen as evil when first announced. I am sure that the telephone was seen as a passing fad. Same with radio, television and video games. But all are now an indispensable way of how we all live and communicate. But at one time they were all new, strange and even scary.

Embrace the new. One day it will be the way on how we communicate and do business.

Best, Edwin Dearborn

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