Editor’s note: Peter Wylie is a researcher at a social media marketing company in Raleigh, N.C. He was previously an editor for an online business journalism company in Washington, D.C.

By PETER WYLIE, special to LTW

RALEIGH, N.C. – Mashable has a why engagement on Facebook can be very beneficial for brands looking to spread their content and expertise to new potential customers. The main difference between interactions on Facebook with content and offline interactions with traditional media content is that others within a person’s social network are privy to those interactions.

[The mashable post references that works with clients to help drive brand on facebook. It is adding integration. See diagram.]

When a potential customer views a TV commercial and makes a positive statement about the brand and product, only people that are physically with that person observe the positive sentiment and could be influenced by it. On Facebook, however, when someone expresses positive brand association by “Liking” a Fan page, the information is broadcast to the person’s entire group of friends on the service through the “News Feed” function.

As the average person has 130 friends, the exposure that statements on Facebook gain is exponentially greater than that of similar offline statements.

In addition to the greater exposure at the first level of someone’s network, Facebook offers a level of viral sharing that offline interactions simply cannot match. For an offline positive sentiment to spread, the two or three people in the vicinity of me when I make a positive remark about a brand need to pass on the sentiment directly, or else the effect stops there. On Facebook, the chances that one of my hundreds of friends also “likes” something that I express positive sentiment about are much higher.

What’s more, this extended exposure costs nothing for a brand. Once a piece of content is created, it can spread like this for no additional cost. Other social utilities like Twitter offer similar viral distribution to large groups of people for minimal cost. The ability to reach new customers through content sharing online at low cost makes content generation an important part of any online marketing strategy.

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