Everyone has been saying for quite some time that Facebook is changing.
As far as marketing is concerned, I’ve been comparing it to the Wild West. Anything goes, but truthfully I hope that changes sooner than later because there is so much potential. Here are my recommendations for how to use Facebook for personal and business use based on my personal and professional experience.
FOR PERSONAL USE
I signed up for my Facebook account back in 2004 while I was a freshmen at UW-Whitewater. Back then the name of the game was to have as many friends as possible and post as many pictures as possible. We likely spent more time on that site than all other sites we were visiting combined.
Now, many people grumble that Facebook is dying and it’s become irrelevant. It’s just a bunch of people shit posting, looking up people they don’t know, following their exes, complaining about politics and seeing pictures of babies (and we’re not sure of who the parents are..or how we know them). In the past few years, there have been times where I’ve been on Facebook and just felt not good afterwards at everything I was seeing.
I don’t feel that way at the moment, though. I’ve always described Facebook to friends, family and clients as the ultimate personal space. To do so, you have to be selective about your friends and interests.
Choose your friends wisely. If you’re friends with everyone, you’re friends with no one. Unless you know the person on some kind of personal basis or at a minimum have met them in person, you shouldn’t be friends with them on Facebook (and I admit I didn’t always follow this advice). This isn’t the easiest thing and I didn’t enjoy defriending people (we’ve all been on both sides) but if I haven’t seen you in 10 years or I pass you in public and you look right through me…well come on. Neither one of us have any business seeing your most recent vacation photos…
Same with your interests. If you follow everything in the world, your mini feed is just a bunch of junk that likely won’t be honed in. For me, I follow the Milwaukee Bucks, TMJ4, my favorite Mexican restaurant, Interpol and The Killers (my favorite bands) and some Miami Vice fan pages (because I really like that show).
You can also tighten your ad preferences. If you don’t want ads, then go into your settings and say so. I personally don’t mind Facebook following my web activity because they can present me relevant offers for products or services I’m interested in.
^ As a result, when I login to Facebook, I see pictures of my nieces & nephews and good friends from college (because it gets harder and harder as the years go by), Giannis dunking on the competition, what the weather is going to be for the day and other local news, specials for Taco night, deals for The Killers at Summerfest and pictures of Don Johnson brooding in his Ferrari Daytona. Why would I want to go anywhere else? (Seriously)
Consider tightening up how you use Facebook and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how relevant the site has become for you again.
FOR BUSINESS USE
I also sell social media services to my clients. In the beginning, it was largely based on having a policy in place for how employees were expected to use the platform and posting all about culture. Then, it became about having posts everyday that pushed your offerings while running a like ad to get as many followers as possible. You know what? The same thing happened. It all became just a bunch of noise. The only people liking or sharing were employees…and it was because they were told to by their superiors or marketing department.
Now, our goal for our clients is to make it much more relevant. The strategies are four fold:
No policies in place. If you have to control exactly how people use your business’s facebook page, it’s likely going to throw cold water on it… and the posts will be met as such…cold as ice. Get a few administrators access to your account and encourage them to post photos of what the company is up to. Give them guidelines, but don’t micromanage the message. Worst case scenario you can always delete or edit a post.
Showcase your product or service IN ACTION. The caps are the key. People connect with other people, so showing what you offer in the present tense along with it’s features and benefits are key. You can count on some additional likes or reshares from the people that know the people you are focusing on. This is a great way to grow organically and people will love the story aspect. Pro tip: Videos under 30 seconds with sub titles are all the rage back home.
Limit your posts. Ever notice that US Presidents seem to disappear from the spotlight after 4 or 8 years in office? That’s because people get fatigued by seeing so much information about them everyday. It’s also the reason why people start to miss them in the future. Creating demand involves not being too available. Consider limiting your posts to once or twice a week. The same pro tip applies: Videos!
Run super relevant ads. Take your top products or services and put together some ads that are informative and tell a good story. Put these ads in front of targeted audiences that need said product. Coming full circle with the personal aspect, if people are looking online for similar things, Facebook will categorize it and give you access to their feeds (if you pay for it, of course). My recommendation? Start broad with the ad audiences and let the data tell the story to get them dialed in.
There you have it…at least in my world, anyways 🙂