Saving Face: Effectively Utilizing Facebook
“[Facebook] is an ever-changing environment,” said the founder of The Clubbing Group, Youth Nation and Leading Social. “I did up a presentation and then Facebook changed. And then I did another one and Facebook changed.”
The social media platform is always transforming and reinventing itself.
“It’s constantly changing,” Jamie said. “It’s user molded.”
Because Facebook’s changes are forced by both users and the company, it’s important that your business’ profile page be consistent. To achieve that goal, you should consider who you are on Facebook as well as who you want to be when you’re using it in order to reach your target market. The best way to do this, in Jamie’s opinion and experience, is to think of your bar’s or nightclub’s Facebook profile as a living, breathing entity.
Give your business’ profile page a personality. Doing so presents opportunities for interaction with your target demographic, in turn generating reach. As anyone who has used Facebook for business knows, the platform often mutes the messages of professional pages. Generating reach through interaction with your followers and fans (and their networks) is an excellent way to keep Facebook from silencing your posts. Additionally, it means your network is doing your advertising for you.
Going back to the point of consistency, it’s important that you ensure your business’ Facebook persona embraces this characteristic. The danger, as we all know too well, of interacting with anyone online is that you’re being watched all the time, by dozens, hundreds, thousands of people at any given time. More threatening is that you’re often being judged by people with whom you don’t even have a relationship. Add the fact that people can voice their criticisms of your interactions (or lack thereof) to their networks and you see why being consistent is so important. Be predictable in your interactions and maintain your business’ Facebook persona. Failing to do so will cause people to talk about your business, and not in the way you want. Remember: you are wholly visible.
To generate reach, Jamie recommends the following key takeaways:
- Always be consistent.
- Plan your impression. Know your character and carry that personality over to your Facebook persona.
- Be useful and boost interaction. Give your fans a reason to interact and then encourage that interaction.
- Likes and shares generate reach. Encourage this form of interaction by giving your network content to like and share.
- Photographs encourage interaction and generate reach.
- It’s critical that you find the balance between sharing too much and not posting enough. Every person and every network is different so it will take time and testing to find the sweet spot.
- Don’t panic! Using Facebook effectively requires little more than realizing that certain things make sense if you just take the time to think.
- Avoid mass invites. Instead, maximize Facebook’s ability to be used as a database and encourage your fans and followers to share your events with their own networks.
- Avoid spamming in any way, shape or form. “The age of spamming is gone,” says Jamie. “It’s just gone, [the days when you could] just smash a message out.”
- Avoid posting content or using tools just because you want to use them. For example, if you want to offer your network a newsletter and they don’t want it, don’t use it. How will you know if they want to see certain types of content? Ask them.
- Avoid using much text when posting photos. This is another useful tactic to encourage interaction and sharing.
Most important, though, is this: have a well thought out personality and character with depth and consistency. Your Facebook persona is the foundation, the building blocks on which your marketing will stand. If you put the weight of promotion on top of a rushed or shallow foundation, it will all collapse.