Do you have to be on Facebook?

Recent had ik een opdrachtgever die wel een Facebookpagina heeft, maar er niet echt optimaal gebruik van maakt. De posts zijn bijna allemaal hetzelfde, links naar artikelen op de eigen website, er is geen interactie en er zijn weinig fans. Zelf vinden de mensen achter de social media accounts, medewerkers zonder communicatie of ‚social’ achtergrond, dat ze mee moeten met ‚iedereen’ die ook op social media zit. Maar waarom precies en hoe? Dat weten ze niet zo goed. Resulterend in een Facebook pagina met 50 volgers die nooit reageren. En een Twitter account met nog minder volgers en nog minder interactie.

Daarom schreef ik het volgende, als een soort checklist. Wel in het engels ;-)

Do we have to be on Facebook?

Facebook is an online social platform where people and companies can connect and interact. For the most part it is used by people to connect with their friends. A smaller part of users is connecting with companies. To show what brands they are into, to receive free gadgets, discounts and other rewards or to stay up-to-date.

Why should you be on Facebook?

Because there are over a billion users that can be targeted. Lots of data, lots of possibilities for marketing/communication/PR/sales and even product development. If done right.

Why should you not be on Facebook?

Because, if not done right, it could harm your image. And more: if not done right it is just a waste of time and energy. Plus: if your target audience isn’t on Facebook, why bother trying to find them there?

What does it take to be on Facebook?

A lot of time and energy: You need to be able to post new and interesting content on a regular basis. Respond to comments made on your own Facebook page, but also comment on posts created by others. Facebook is all about interaction. If you can’t or won’t interact, there is probably not much use being there.

What do you post on Facebook?

You could post anything you like. But you should post whatever your target audience likes. Investigate what they want to see/read. You can do that by asking them in advance, or by monitoring what they Like and when they comment and share your posts.

Posts should be:
  • Regular: preferably on a daily basis. No more than 2 per day
  • Interesting: what do your fans want to see/read
  • Sharable: fans must consider your content worth sharing with others
  • Variable: try to post different kinds of content (i.e. links, photos, stats, information from your own company, but also content from others that could be interesting to your fans)

How do you decide if you should be on Facebook? Answer 3 simple questions:

What do you want to achieve?

Define a goal and/or some clear targets.
And then ask yourself: do I really need Facebook to achieve this? Are there other ways of doing this? Are there other platforms that might be more suitable?

Who do you want to reach?

Define your target audience(s) and describe clearly who you want to reach and why you want to reach exactly these people.
And then ask yourself: Is our target audience really on Facebook? Are there other platforms that are more suitable? Where can I actually find the people I want to connect with as a company?

Do you have the time?

Facebook is all about interaction. It takes quite some time, not to mention a real effort in strategy and planning, to be successful on this platform.
Ask yourself:
  • Do you have time to come up with a strategy/plan for being on Facebook?
  • Do you have time to create and/or find content to post? And then post it regularly?
  • Do you have time to monitor all comments, likes, shares etc.?
  • Do you have time to respond to comments?
  • Do you have time to comment on posts from others?

Tips and considerations:

  • Really think about the 3 questions in the checklist.
  • If you decide to stay on Facebook: make a plan.
  • Find out what your fans like by trying different kinds of posts and checking for comments/likes/shares, but also monitor the statistics you get for free.
  • Always (ALWAYS) write about why you are posting a link: what is the article about, what is the interest for your fans.
  • Think about moving to LinkedIn for sharing your knowledge and connecting with interesting people. If you do so, have a strategy for it (or get some help in developing a good strategy/plan).
  • Make all the same considerations for your presence on other social media platforms …

Sometimes it is better not to use social media, then to have a social presence that does not reflect your company’s true identity. Using social media means having a real social media strategy with a clear vision on why you ‘go social’ and what you want to achieve.

Over een paar weken hoop ik meer te weten over hun beslissing en verdere ontwikkelingen rondom social media voor hun organisatie. Keep you posted!