You have probably noticed over the last year that Facebook has been battling a whirlwind issues surrounding it’s platform. They admit that the company did not do enough to prevent fake news, foreign interference in elections, hate speech, and data privacy exploitations. Just this week the company announced that they had deleted 583 million fake accounts earlier this year and they estimate that every day there are approximately 6.5 million attempts to create new fake accounts every day. With the amount of negative press they have received, it is hard to imagine that Facebook can retain their throne as social media king without some significant changes to their user experience.
Does this mean that you should ditch Facebook? Absolutely not. With over 2 billion users worldwide it is still the best social media platform to brand yourself with. But it very likely does mean that you will need to change your approach with the people that you want to engage with. As Facebook begins to re-strategize their business and regain the trust of it’s users and advertisers, we need to take a hard look at our own social media strategy to see how this might affect our businesses as well. Social media is an absolute necessity these days in the battle for customer engagement and while networking sites have moved toward the boosted or sponsored posts, I for one am looking forward to the change.
As Facebook continues to signal a differentiation between paid or boosted posts away from relevant and meaningful content, this opens the door for you to get a step ahead of the competition. This means that you will most likely have to spend more time on social media to achieve the results that you want, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend more money. In a very well written statement Mark Zuckerberg recently said “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”.
So, what does this mean and how do you implement the change?
Well, it will probably start with an awkward conversation with your boss where you say “I need to be on Facebook more while I’m at work”. If you want to increase your exposure you have to be responsive in your approach; quick responses to messages, comments, and friend requests. The best way to do this is spending the time on Facebook as a “user”.
Get personal. You want to naturally interact with customers the same way you socialize with friends. Getting feedback from followers by asking questions about their opinions, hosting chats or discussions about your products or services, and joining groups that are relevant to your industry can provide additional marketing resources within your network. Find people that like your brand, friend them, and like some of their posts. This is a potential brand advocate that will amplify your message. Encourage these customers to take a survey and ask them to share the results with their network as well.
Visuals. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so why aren’t you taking more? Every company event or outing is a marketing opportunity. Getting snaps of your company having fun or engaging with potential customers can have a magnetizing effect, because most everyone wants to be a part of something fun and meaningful. Pictures and videos from your most recent work event, hosting a Facebook live video, even sharing news stories that best represent your company culture will help you connect with the right people.
Activate your employees. Your employees are your best marketing tool and a great source of new business. Showcasing your company’s culture needs to have support from the inside out. Allow them the time and freedom to “join the conversation” while they’re at work.
Take a few minutes to review your profile and activity, and ask yourself what does it say about your business and most importantly what does it not say?