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Facebook Facelift and the Year of the Story

500 Million Facebook Users, Give or Take 100 Million

Perhaps the biggest yarn of social media news comes from Facebook and resurfaced on Sunday December 5th, 2010. 500 million users? What a fantastic story, an effective statistic, an influential pitch to join the social media community. Everybody’s doing it. What was it your mother said about friends and bridges?

To shed some light on this stat, consider this question: how many email addresses do you have? A quick survey of Rosemont Media finds we have an average of 4 email addresses per person. Is the same true for Facebook? Absolutely: a third of RM’s team has multiple profiles. The folks at Facebook are obviously aware of this discrepancy, but 500 million users makes for a good story.

Facebook Facelift

During the Facebook CEO’s 60 minutes appearance on Sunday, December 5, 2010, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled several changes to Facebook designed to help users paint a more complete picture of their lives, both online and off. The changes to Facebook provide a more efficient way for users to disseminate and digest personal information in an organized, conversational manner more akin to the social interaction in a bar or at a cocktail party.

The end-result of these changes positions Facebook as a better storytelling device than any other social media platform. Up front, users are given the basic information in a user-friendly framework: education, work experience, hometown, and so on. Dig deeper and users find images showing what friends are doing and what inspires them. On and on the layers continue, all aimed at creating a more complex platform for expressing oneself and telling a better a story.

The Year of the Story

“Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” –Robert McKee

Gone are the days of one-stop shops capable of satisfying the end-user’s appetite for information (though that won’t stop Facebook, Google, and the like from trying to create such a venue). With an ever-expanding mountain of data instantly available, your practice’s narrative allows you to define an online presence and separate yourself from the stagnant, cookie-cutter content of your competition.

Whether related to an individual user or a specific brand, all signs point to 2011 as the year of the story. The most important takeaway from the Facebook facelift and Zuckerberg’s 60 minutes interview is the importance of this narrative. While everyone loves a good story, not everyone can tell a good story; and those individuals and brands that succeed in 2011 will provide compelling reasons to follow them by taking advantage of their originality and providing captivating, exciting content connected to their story.

Captivate Your Patients

While the number may be slightly lower, “500 million Facebook users” is eye-catching; it generates excitement, interest, and intrigue. It gives the audience a reason to listen, to pursue further details, to want more. Now we have several appearances on 60 Minutes and Social Network, a successful venture to the silver screen to add to the story of Facebook, which continues to drive interest in the social media site and its creator.

How Will Your Story Be Told?

Stories are the essence of successful human contact as Robert McKee tells us above. In other words, by providing a meaningful experience through your own unique story, you will forge a lasting relationship with your audience. How will your story be told?

Visit the Rosemont Media Facebook page and tell us what makes the story of your practice unique. Need a little inspiration: What would your screenplay be called? Any exciting events or anniversaries on the horizon? Inspiring patient stories? How did you decide on this profession? Or post any other element you feel sets your practice apart.

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