What is it About Facebook That Turns Us Into Pre-Madonnas?

Facebook, Twitter, Digg and lots of other social media sites are great at promoting business – but too many people don’t use Facebook the right way.  They see it as a way of doing free advertisements; something Seth Godin calls “Interruption Based Ads”.  I call it Facebook Spam.

Like emails, you can “Ignore” Facebook pages you “Liked” and stop getting the latest touts about how wonderful a shampoo’s hair care product is or how a local restaurant made the news.  This is TERRIBLE for the marketers who think you’re still seeing their news since you haven’t “Unliked“ their page.

A lot of people have no clue how much Facebook Spam gets blocked by Fans every day.  I know from just going through my meager Likes that over 70% of my Liked pages have been blocked. More have been Unliked.  A lot of these were pages I Liked for a discount or coupon. (Often these were so limited it was a waste of my time.)

Have any of these pages gotten a direct sell thanks to their Facebook expositions? Two have and another might in the future.  They are respectively Dave Ramsey’s Facebook page, Seth Godin’s Twitter, John Maxwell’s Twitter and Black Widow’s Facebook page.

What are these companies doing right and what are other companies doing wrong?  I had to sit down and think about this because a friend of mine announced twice in all caps LIKE MY COMPANY’S FAN PAGE.  I finally had enough and told her no, thank you.  Her response was to try and guilt me into liking her page ala “Like the page because you’re my friend” and demanded she know why I wouldn’t.  So here are some thoughts to consider:

  1. Right: Posting links to articles that interest the Fans.
    Wrong: Posting links that just promote your product/service. (Don’t kid yourself with saying “My products interest my Fans.” It might, but just that bores them.)
  2. Right: Posting thoughtful questions that you really want feedback – bad or good – and you’re ready to respond to the bad. Really ready.
    Wrong: Posting questions that are really advertisements like “Have you seen our product yet?”
  3. Right: Posting useful content. If you’re a golf grip company you might talk about golf tournaments and players. If you’re an inspirational writer, post blurbs and thoughts up for free.
    Wrong: Posting talk about how your company got in the news, especially if it’s just another link to, you guessed it, an advertisement.
  4. Right: Posting clever, inviting photos with human stories like Oscar Meyer’s Fan Spotlight or Dave Ramsey’s recent article about how to talk to parents about finances.
    Wrong: Posting nothing but boring product pictures and video commercials.
  5. Right: Announcing cool events or meet-ups, interesting sales, free recipes or other information your Fans want to know about.
    Wrong: Posting up generic coupons.
  6. Right: Creating blog content you can link to like, for a Mexican restaurant, “The Gringo’s Guide to Authentic Mexican” where you visit tex-mex restaurants, photo a meal and then compare it to an authentic meal at your restaurant.  Include intriguing tidbits like the history behind the cuisine or how real tortilla’s are made, etc.
    Wrong: Creating a blog that is transparently another giant advertisement for your product or service with no value added for Fans.
  7. Right: Making something that is fun and human.
    Wrong: Making something that is all business.

Essentially, please stop treating Facebook like free advertising. It is, but our society has long since desensitized to the “Interruption Spam” of billboards, web ads, email and social media.  If, however, you become a human first and a company second and ask/respond to your desired customer base, you will create a tribe of salespeople that will drag people to your company without extra work from you!


Marketing Challenge: Spend 10 minutes each day for 1 week writing NON STOP ideas for compelling content and ideas for your Fans.  Pick your best 10 and implement.

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