For anyone not up to speed on the phenomenon that is Facebook, just check out the stats on the right from Comscore that accompanied an article in the FT last week. I’ve posted a couple of times (quite skeptically) on whether or not this phenomenon can be effectively transported into business networking. Now there’s a serious entry that integrates Facebook profiles into salesforce.com using appexchange called FaceForce.
Faceforce is a mash-up that seamlessly integrates Facebook profile information with Salesforce data in real time, providing you with an instant 360º view of customers, prospects, and business associates. View and manage all your contacts in one place.
Forrester’s Charlene Li at Groundswell points out the major challenge with this: you might now need two Facebook profiles – one that’s public and can be incorporated "off-site" in an application like FaceForce and a private profile for your real friends. Charlene comments:
The result: we’ll see more and more people using Facebook for business purposes, driving Facebook sign-ups in the process. Let’s say you’re a typical marketing person in a B2B company — why on earth would you join Facebook if you’re friends aren’t on there? Well, maybe your customers are and if you’re a Salesforce subscriber, you may have just hit the jackpot. You have to first find and friend your contacts before you can see them in Salesforce. What if they aren’t Facebook members? You’ll ask them to join.And that will change the nature of Facebook, for better or worse. I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that I will have two Facebook accounts — one that is public facing and another with my private email address where my "real" friends are. Take a wild guess which one is more active — yup, my public account. (This is partly because my most of my friends aren’t on Facebook yet, and partly because I’m already too busy living my public life on it to invest in my private Facebook network.)
The upshot of all this is that if the take-up FaceForce (and similar "off-site" apps) is even modest, the total uniques and average visits per visitor for Facebook should increase significantly. The average minutes per visitor should also increase, either because the mash-up is so useful and/or the new Facebook friends are preening their profiles. For a good primer on how FaceForce works, see FaceForce: Social Networking Reaches Into the Enterprise on CRMFYI.