Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, PMP® -> Succession & Retirement Planning, Part-time CFO, Value Growth Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina. U.S.A -

Facebook – Lessons We Can All Learn

Crowd Sourcing the Right Market Makers

Chia-Li Chien | April 15 2011

With more than 500+ million members on Facebook, it has evolved into something very different than when it first started. It started as a site to “like” or “not like” girls, but soon spread to emulate social environments, connect friends, and provide a space for self-expression and sharing information. One of the crucial elements of Facebook ‘s meteoric rise was crowd sourcing with the right Market Makers.

Facebook started out in the “student” or same market space providing the “like” as a same service. They focused on Ivy League schools first as Market Makers only in one quadrant. Effective use of identifying and pursuing Market Makers ultimately made crowd sourcing work for Facebook. Obviously, there are other attributes that make Facebook a success. But without this crucial, effective use of Market Makers, it may not have become what it is today.

Market makers are companies that have the same target clients as your company. There are three types of Market Makers:

Whale Market Maker: Typically Fortune 500 companies or large to mid-size publicly-traded companies.

- Both business-to-business and business-to-consumer businesses today use Facebook as a Whale Market Maker to attract potential customers.

Anemone Market Maker: Local or national business, or trade associations, also including local companies with the same target clients as you have.

- Given that Facebook started as a social media activity strictly within the boundaries of the Harvard University campus, they effectively used the Anemone Market Maker approach. It spread from Harvard to Boston University, then on to the West Coast, using multiple Anemone Market Makers to create effective crowd sourcing.

Coral Reef Market Maker: You become a market maker yourself to attract target clients to you.

- After Facebook reached 1 million members on two continents, they became a Coral Reef Market Maker themselves.

Like many of you, I recently watched the four Golden Globes and Academy Award-winning movie about Facebook, The Social Network Movie. Although I found it a bit hard to follow the speedy, tongue-twisting, ever changing, high-tech dialogue from the character of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, it become clear that finding their Market Makers was one important element that has contributed to Facebook’s success.

Facebook also used crowd sourcing to help design today’s Facebook. That’s right, you and I are contributing to Facebook’s phenomenal popularity, because we tell them what we like to see and use. Hence you have “Fan Pages” to “Like,” and “Events” to RSVP to.

Regardless of what type of business you’re in, Market Makers are excellent resources for filling your pipelines. Pipelines and prospects build tremendous value for your business, because your buyers/investors /lenders can easily see how your leads continuously come. That means business!

Here is a tool we use at VGI to help clients define their Market Makers:


So, who are your Market Makers? Tweet to @ChiaLiChien “my #MarketMakers are _________ “ to receive three free chapters of my award-winning book Show Me The Money via a link DM’d to you. One lucky winner will receive an autographed hard cover copy in the mail. So tweet us by April 29, 2011.

Chia-Li Chien

Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li "like JOLLY!" Passionate leader of small business strategic value creation and implementation mastery. She is CEO and chief strategist of Value Growth Institute. Creating business value that transforms your world. She is the Award-Winning author of "Show Me The Money" and faculty member of American Management Association. You can grab a free sample of PROFITS MATTER® 1GAP to grow your business at

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