It is the year 2013 as I compose this primer. In the 21st Century, social media has replaced what was formerly accomplished by door-to-door salesmen, what is called direct marketing.
I was first introduced to social media via MySpace. When Facebook became the rage around late 2008, early 2009, I switch over to remain with the friendbase I developed on MySpace. Four years later, Facebook dominates my time and attention on-line. When working with others, as I attempt to spread the word about what By2015:AMERICA is doing, I find several misconceptions about how to actually use Facebook exists.
For example: many people think that by posting an item onto their Facebook page, the 600 people who are connected to them can see that post.
That is not true.
Facebook allows only those who regularly interact with your page, by “liking” a picture or “commenting” under a status, to “see” your posts. This is to cut down on “spamming” or “mass advertising” via Facebook. Due to all the “up and coming” rappers, many people complained to Facebook that they received a lot of unwanted messages. So, Facebook created tools to “block” people, without de-friending them.
So, this is what I have learned from four years of “marketing” on Facebook. Please use these tips to increase your own effectiveness.
1) You have to build an “audience” on Facebook for your postings. This is done by first taking an interest in what other people post on their timelines. You have to be sincere. People will pick up over time if you are doing it as a marketing gimmick. I advise you to click “like” on statuses that you actually do like. Share photos and links when asked. It’s better to do so when not asked.
2) Pictures capture people’s attention faster than words on Facebook. If you notice what I do on my page, I will post a picture with a “long” message attached. I will then “tag” people onto the picture. The picture then shows up on their feed and they have an opportunity to read the message.
3) Direct messages specifically to people on Facebook. You have to post directly on their page or “tag” them in a status for them to know that you are speaking to them. Otherwise, it’s just another status on Facebook. “I do not know you are talking to me” – unless you talk to me.
4) Most people are accessing Facebook from their phone, not a laptop. The laptop and PC versions of Facebook allow you to do much more than the mobile apps. Which makes suggestions number 2 and 3 that much more critical.
5) Frequent postings develop your audience. The number one complaint I hear from people I am attempting to engage is: “I remember you posting something. I saw it earlier on my lunch break. I am now off work. Where is it?”
Each day, I personally, try to post the same message about how to help The Walk for America’s Children. After 6 weeks of posting that VERY SAME message – every day, mind you – I still get inboxed by at least by 6 people. “Kokayi, can you give me a concrete step by step way that I can help you? I see your posts about child hunger and I want to help. How can I?”
When I share the 1., 2., 3. steps, complete with blog links to the indiegogo campaign and press release, I receive this message: “Thank you. You should post this on your page. This is the first time I have ever seen this.”
Again, I do post it. However, it literally comes down to making the post accessible when the PERSON is paying attention to their feed, or your feed. If what they are looking for isn’t at the top of your timeline, or at the top of a group timeline, at the very moment they are looking for the information, they do not see it. That’s when you have to do number 3.
6) People come on and off Facebook. New material has to be circulated for three days before people have a chance to read a blog/article you posted or watch a video you recommend. Give them time. Otherwise, they cannot keep up.
7) When you re-share something on Facebook, you have to give it a “status” even if it has a “catchy title”. People are scrolling down their feed and unless you tell them what you are posting and why you are posting it, they cannot make the judgement call whether or not they need to invest their limited time into reading the blog/article/video you posted.
8) You have to be diverse. If you only post on one topic over and over again, people tune you out. Social media is about YOUR personality. It’s not a business website or news outlet. If you like basketball, you have to post about basketball along side the main interest you are trying to promote. Again, if you do not, you become boring.
Now that I have shared what works for me, what have you discovered that works for you? Please leave suggestions in the comments box.