Facebook in Flux
It’s interesting to see Facebook re-evaluate its product offering in light of perceived challenges from Google, Microsoft and a plethora of smaller social media platforms like Squidoo, Flickr and the like.
One gets the sense that the disastrous shooting star arc of MySpace – one day the world leader, the next worthless – has left an indelible mark on Facebook… an object lesson in the dangers of complacency; the terrifying fear of losing touch.
But there’s danger, too, in pursuing change for the sake of it: users/customers seem never able to get comfortable, while seemingly continual updates can have an air of panic about them… especially when changes don’t look or feel like an improvement.
For marketing agencies and their clients, particularly B2B, the challenge is how to use Facebook intelligently and cost-effectively while it continues to reinvent itself. Companies don’t want to be left with an outdated or expensive Facebook strategy, or worse no strategy at all. And it’s always tempting to do nothing until the dust settles: but the dust won’t ever settle and who can afford to wait?
Our view of the matter is changing as new data appears, but knowing full well that Internet data is one step removed from feng shui, gypsy tarot readers and the Magic 8 Ball.
Recently, after a study of 1,000 or so users, data showed that 20% or more do actually bother to ‘Like’ a business-related Facebook page. So there is still a point in asking to be liked, but let’s not overplay that function. What is of greater significance is that the study indicates that the success of your Facebook presence depends upon the vitality of your ‘Wall’ as much as anything else… in other words, content. We’ve been focused on content from the start.
This new data confirms our gut feelings: a simple, clean, uncluttered Facebook presence is best.
Focus on information to help expand the company’s (or brand’s) public ethos and public face (it is Facebook, after all). Then it’s all about the interaction, the day-to-day adjustments, the kind of information you share. Keep the Wall current, fast-paced and entertaining… be real. You don’t need to be corporate as your corporate presence should be fully developed on your website.
NOTE: If you have any relevant video content, then you’re golden, as Facebook is quickly becoming a platform dominated by video. And what better way to show the human side than to actually show a walking, talking human being?