By Chris Heiler

After months of anticipation, Facebook went public on May 17, making its initial public offering of more than 420 million shares of its stock. It was the largest-ever technology IPO, with asking prices for its shares ranging from $28 to $35.

The technology and investment communities are having a field day with the news, but other developments may be of even more interest to the companies communicating with Facebook’s more than 900 million users – including green-industry businesses.

In mid-April, Facebook purchased social photo-sharing app Instagram, and just over a month later, Facebook updated its mobile app to display photos more prominently in users’ news feeds. This is proof of a massive shift in how consumers absorb online content, says Chris Heiler, green industry social media consultant and principal of Landscape Leadership.

Photos get more interaction and views than all other content on Facebook – these moves by Facebook really makes sense. The Instagram purchase in particular will make images even more important going forward in your content-marketing strategy.

According to a recent Nielsen study, smart phones have overtaken basic mobile devices among U.S. consumers: 50.4 percent of consumers are now using smart phones.

And comScore recently reported that the amount of time users spend on Facebook’s mobile site and apps (441 minutes per month) has surpassed that of the full website (391 minutes per month).

These developments further reinforce the growing opportunity for green industry companies to interact with customers online.

Our work is very visual – from growing and selling plants to designing and constructing landscapes – so this move to short-form content plays to our advantage.

If you’re looking at Facebook on your phone, are you more likely to browse a photo album or read a 1,000-word blog post?

About the author: Chris Heiler is president of Landscape Leadership, a social media marketing agency for green industry businesses.