Ah, Facebook. After spending admittedly too much time perusing my ‘friend’s’ status updates, I’ve come to the conclusion that, generally speaking, there’s 3 main types who frequent the ‘good book’: 1. Those who share silly things; 2. Those who do nothing but whine about their life or someone else (significant other, boss, Presidential hopeful, what’s-his-name who did something really stupid, etc), and; 3. Those who market themselves and/or their products.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good laugh just as much as the next person, but it would seem to me that the only option that may actually get you somewhere in Life is number three (we won’t even bother acknowledging the poor folks waste their precious time on number two). Still, I’ve noticed several errors of judgment that a lot of people make when using Facebook as part of their individual online campaign:
- They Think It’s A Numbers Game: It’s not really a question of how many fans you have. It’s more about how many of them you’re actually reaching every time you post, and since so few fans ever return to your page (less than 1%!), that news feed of yours becomes absolutely critical. That means giving them something they can use or find captivating enough to keep up with you, so you better keep them interested. It’s easy to cull together 1,000 fans without any of them giving a lick about what you’re doing.
- Impersonal Posting: Facebook is a social platform, it’s not the Yellow Pages (who even remembers the Yellow Pages anyway?). I’ve seen too many people auto-posting directly off their website, and guess what? It’s boring. And besides, Facebook gives auto-posted material low priority. Can you blame them? Post naturally, and frequently mix things up some with photos etc. Also, Facebook is more about WHO you are rather than WHAT you’re peddling. Selling’s fine, just keep it personal and interesting. And don’t post too often either; quality over quantity.
- The ‘Set It & Forget It’ Approach: How many people have you seen come racing out of the gate announcing to the world that they’re now, say, blogging, only to completely fall off the face of the Earth a few weeks later? Happens all the time. It takes ample time to engage people on Facebook, whether they’re your ‘fans’ or your customers. Ignoring people always comes back to haunt you in the end. Set a posting schedule and stick to it for at least one month. By then, it should become ingrained as a ‘habit.’
At current count, Facebook has 800 million users worldwide. As they close in on the coveted 1 billion mark, there’s no doubting its potentially lucrative marketing capabilities. Don’t throw it away by just setting up a page, ignoring its upkeep and maintenance, and then spamming your fans endlessly with dull, useless, and impersonal information. Educate yourself on how best to utilize its tools and you might find that Facebook can give you quite a big return on your investment of time and patience.