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Facebook creates more close relationships
According to a study done by Pew Internet in 2010
June 2011

I have been telling this to all my friends and colleagues for about a year now, although it is easy to say afterwards, but by using Facebook you do create closer relationships. This is especially true for friends and family you do not get to see that often, but it also functions with the ones you see every day.

Study results
The study counters the general believe that Facebook (and other social networks) users replace normal friendships with online ones and thus do not interact in person with that many people anymore. In short the study concluded that people using Facebook several times a day have more close relationships, are more trusting and do get more social support than the average human being.

More close relationships
It is logical that people actively using Facebook have more close relationships, as they tend to know much more about their friends than non-users. You do not normally call all your friends with everything that happens in your life and you will not update all your friends with exactly the same stories when you meet them. Facebook has made this possible and thus people know much more about each other when they are also friends on Facebook.

One example is also what people often complaint about when they argue about the value of social networks: “Why do I need to read that people are arriving at an airport, just read a certain book, passed an exam, or whatever else insignificant issue is happening in their life?!”. The fact is that by keeping up to date with the little things in your friends lifes, you know them much better and are able to share more special moments with them, no matter how small.

The real value of Facebook
However the advantages of reading your friends updates do go much further:
• You might realize that you have arrived in the same airport half an hour before your friend and let her know that you are awaiting in the café just passed customs to catch up, or if you are not in the same place, you can let your friend know about this great little restaurant you had dinner at a while ago in the city where she just landed and suggest she goes there during her stay.
• You could ask your friend if he recommends the book he just posted; should you read it as well? Or you can tell him about a similar book you have read that he might like to read as well.
• You might be in a convenience store checking your mobile when you read about your friend passing his exam, so you decide to buy a little gift and drop it off on your way home.

Without the updates you might have spent time in the same city where your friend was and not know it until you meet again back at home, you might or might not talk about the books you have read, but you might just not have time to talk about that one that you and your friend both enjoyed so much, because you have only so much time when you meet in person, and when you find out your friend passed his exam it has been a while and before you meet again it is really too late to buy a gift.

Our lifes are so busy; we are running more and more to get things done and the time spent with friends is relatively short. That is where the interaction with those same friends on Facebook and other social sites can really add value to our lifes.

Do you not agree with the above, or do you have other ways to use Facebook to improve the realtion with friends and family, please let me know.

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  BOOK REVIEWS

Some of my personal remarks and opinion on books related to social media marketing:

Social media ROI by Olivier Blanchard, in eMarketing Reflections"Social Media ROI" Managing and measuring Social Media efforts
in your organization, by Olivier Blanchard


"Socialnomics" How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, by Erik Qualman


"New rules of PR & Marketing" How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, by David Meerman Scott

 
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