Facebook, at the tender age of 8 years old, boasts 845 million users as well as a 2011 profit of $1 billion. Earlier this month it filed its initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking to raise $5 billion – slated to be the biggest sale of shares by an Internet company, according to the BBC.
Facebook’s debut follows LinkedIn’s May IPO, which valued the business at $4 billion, according to the BBC.
Following the money, Providence Business News has organized an e-marketing and technology conference for interested marketing professionals, business owners and others.
The event will take place at the Providence Marriott Downtown, at 1 Orms St., on Feb. 28, from 8 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $35.
Panelists – ranging from a lawyer to the CEO and founder of the e-marketing association eMA – will participate in two sessions. The first focuses on e-communications, while the second looks at online-marketing strategies.
“Social media is changing the way we buy and sell goods,” said Robert Fleming, CEO and founder of eMA. “Twenty years ago we sold to people through mass media – TV, radio, etc. Today, it’s more of a dialogue – people are more interested in the experience of the product from [the moment] they open it up.”
“We’ve really taken an earth-shattering change with the dialogue we see with customers. We’ve seen instances where [customers] shut businesses down [through] review sites and social sites just by things the companies have done,” he said. “You can’t really get away with much today in terms of bad customer service or bad customer experience.”
If you are going to do email marketing, for example, putting ‘don’t reply’ in the email sends a message that ‘we really don’t want to hear from you,’ Fleming said. That’s saying ‘you’re not important enough to respond to us.’ Those types of things are irritating to people, and companies need to [re-evaluate] if they’re doing those things.”