A recent announcement from Mark Zuckerberg stated, "This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month." He added, "Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life."

Facebook also shared some other amazing stats:
It actually reached 1 billion monthly active users on September 14, 2012.

There have been...

o    1.13 trillion likes.
o    140.3 billion friend connections.
o    219 billion photos uploaded.
There are now 600M mobile users.

Why does this matter? Honestly, these numbers are just too big to comprehend, but they serve as evidence of a social media revolution that has taken place and still is revolutionizing communications. In many ways, our world is now more interconnected. Because of Facebook and other technological advancements, people are communicating more frequently and in many different ways.

Facebook's Impact On Commerce
For businesses, it has forced them to be "social" like never before. Organizations that do not try to make personal connections with their fans soon lose followers. This has brought about a significant branding challenge, outdating many of the traditional models of marketing.

In today's world, Facebook has put a premium on the need for good content that clients, prospects and stakeholders care about. If there is no good content, the organization loses the opportunity to get exposure to a massive online society. If there is content but it is not good, it dies on a vine with no benefit. However, good content can go viral, increasing reach, and it can also lead to stronger existing relationships and new business.

For an organization to be successful with Facebook, it needs to embrace "social business" (the theme of all my articles). Businesses need to think of a whole new way for creating and dispersing content that educates and entertains. Remember, content is not just words; it can also take the form of images, videos and links to tell a story. Strong content is the key!

Facebook, the biggest social network, also provides new ways organizations can advertise. Chris Luo, head of global SMB marketing at Facebook, spoke at a recent Hubspot inbound marketing conference on the topic of "Getting ROI from Facebook." His one key takeaway: "Fans do drive revenue."

As social graphs expand, and more people connect to what interests them, Facebook will allow advertising to be contextually important and better timed than ever before.

It Is Not A Fad
For those sitting on the sideline (which includes a large percentage of the financial services world), hopefully Facebook's milestone announcement of one billion users opens their eyes.