November 12, 2012

5 reasons Facebook marketing seems daunting

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Adopt a new perspective to get past Facebook’s marketing challenges

John HaydonIt seems that most brands and nonprofits are still trying to get their head around what works on Facebook.

Looking at what content works best, what time to publish updates, and how to use sponsored stories are consistent themes being discussed among nonprofit marketers.

Yet these issues are just symptoms of bigger challenges that we all need to better understand.

Following are five reasons why Facebook marketing is presenting new and/or unusual challenges:

You’re still thinking push

1You’d think that social media would have changed the mass-production push mentality that’s been so pervasive since the Industrial Revolution. But it hasn’t.

Facebook, and most social media for that matter, is still viewed as a free email list to be “targeted” and marketed to.

To amp things up on Facebook, you have to flip this mindset 180 degrees and instead think about creating a space for your supporters to share what matters to them.

Start asking:

  • What’s their agenda?
  • What are they already putting out there that’s in sync with your cause?
  • How can you capture that on your Facebook Page?

You need to understand people

2Google tells you what people are searching for in the form of words typed into a little search box. It’s literally spelled out for you. Not so with Facebook.

What makes Facebook users share, comment and like is still very much a mystery.

You need to look for patterns in Facebook Insights and make inferences based on those patterns. You need to actually understand the emotional drivers of your people!

You’re competing with their friends

3Think about the last time you opened up Facebook on your laptop or mobile device. Was it to find out what your favorite brands were sharing? Exactly.

It’s the same thing with your supporters. Every time you publish an update in their news feed, you’re competing with birth announcements, political rants, vacation pictures and recommended bands.

Remember that you’ll never trump someone’s friends, but the more you can come across with a friend-like voice, the better you’ll do.

You’re competing for attention

4Facebook users are constantly distracted. They might have the best intentions to view an update they were notified about by email, but as soon as they open up Facebook, they see more notifications in the menu and in their friends lists. They see a dog dressed up as little red riding hood. They see other ads that are also competing for their attention.

Capturing — and recapturing — people’s attention will always be a challenge on Facebook.

You’re dealing with mobile devices

5Every other challenge mentioned here happens within an even smaller space on mobile devices. Did you know that each image you post on your Facebook Page takes up the entire screen on an iPhone?

Yes, there are fewer elements to distract users, but there’s also less space you’re competing for.

Curiosity and creativity are the keys

Most of the challenges here are not insurmountable, but sometimes they feel that way. The best way forward is to have a solid understanding of how to best use Facebook for your organization.

What challenges have you seen through marketing on Facebook?

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John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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  • Yes I agree with this especially in #5 Facebook is not only helping the business grow but also encourages an individual to be creative in order for the business to become more profitable.

  • Thanks for another terrific post John!
    I particularly like what you mentioned in points one and three. I think that most non-profits (and businesses for that matter) still use social media to push their content and services rather than using those outlets to engage in conversation. A great example of an organization that uses social media well here in Canada is Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation pmcf . I became a huge fan simply because of how well they engaged with me from the start, and they NEVER make their posts and updates sound like promotional pushes.

  • twainmark191

    socialbakers, hootsuite and socialkik are great sites for social media where you can increase to your followers and fans.