“Facebook users are very sophisticated” - Wrote a Guest Author on ReadWriteWeb.com
The article: “Why Most Facebook Marketing Doesn’t Work”
I was stunned. Facebook users are not very sophisticated, at least not on the aggregate. You have users who look to Facebook as a journal and document every second of their lives: sophisticated? I think not. You have users who look to Facebook as a means of gaining as many ‘Friends’ as possible, so as to make it seem they have an enormous network and yet never a. utilize their network and b. are highly unlikely to know and stay in contact with all 500+ ‘Friends’: sophisticated? I think not. Then of course you have the users who simply created an account on the basis that everyone in their immediate circles told them about Facebook and ‘how great it is’: sophisticated? Negative, those users don’t even know how to utilize the platform. Oh and my favorite: The user who sees Facebook as an intermediary between them and the fun applications available. There are some users that could be considered ‘sophisticated’ but I don’t think anyone really / fully understands the capability of the platform and thus does not embrace it. Sophistication depends on the type of user being discussed, not on the network as a whole.
The article is about Facebook users and companies who attempt to reach out to said users: what works and what doesn’t.
The target market: Facebook users with short attention spans. They are not ‘sophisticated’ they just don’t (a) have no attention span or (b) prefer simplicity if they are going to waste their time taking a quiz or testing an app for the first time. Guest Author continues:
“It is easy to think of a Facebook tab like a Web page, and throw a bunch of features on it - such as a poll, gifting, and some videos - all on one tab. However, most users do not show up on a Facebook tab like they do on a Web page. They are usually coming in by clicking on a page’s newsfeed posting (“What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz!”), a friend’s newsfeed posting (“I’m a cranky traveller! What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz?”), or a Facebook ad (“Find out what kind of traveller you are!”).
Now, if after clicking on one of these links a user is dropped into a Facebook Page tab with eight different things on it, they are not going to see a quiz immediately and move on. There should only be one engagement feature per tab.”
And Guest Author continues:
“It’s got to look good, and be on brand. In the early days of Facebook, a brand could put up a basic presence with some turnkey apps, and users accepted that. Now that Facebook is all grown up, a brand presence needs to be on par with its website. Facebook users are savvy and will judge your brand in comparison to the best they’ve seen.”
Wait. Wait. Wait. Facebook users are not out on the prowl, they are not as highly selective either. If a brand has a presence on the Web, it is understood that it should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube and a Blog is an added bonus. The fact that a brand / organization / company decides to venture into the Social Media Realm shows that it is interested in its customers and wants to interact with them on a different level. It does not matter how simple or over-the-top their pages are, it is the quality of the interaction that matters - it is what ultimately determines return rates and consumer loyalty. If you produce crap, you do not care and neither will your “target market”.
Guest Author delivers his/her last bits:
“A brand on Facebook should be like a casual friend or neighbor and not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction. What do you do with a friend? Comment on their photos, like their status, vote on their outfit. These types of interactions take seconds, not minutes, and definitely not hours” … “The point is to regularly put up new, fresh engagement features that are easy and fun for users to interact with, that they will want to post to their wall and share with their friends. Then users will interact with your brand just like they interact with their friends on Facebook!”
Dear Brands out there possibly listening to this man / woman: Don’t you dare bombard me with status updates I do not care for, I will un-“like” you and I will cease to “follow” you.
I agree with only one thing: “A brand on Facebook should…not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction.”
It is simple. Create a presence, set up some nifty ways of bringing people to your Fan Page, create connections to your other Social Media outlets and feed those connections back to the Fan Page, develop your fan-base and keep them updated / engaged. Be direct. Be simple. Be the brand you represent and allow users to provide the feedback you seek.
It isn’t that users are ‘sophisticated’ its that they either know what they want and don’t care to hear about things outside their interest area or they don’t know what they want but they also don’t want to be told what they should want. Make your market want to be part of your campaign, part of your brand, part of your organization - don’t simply tell them they should be, show them why.