4 ‘insider tips’ from Facebook that are surprisingly lame

With billions of users, Facebook is still a force in digital marketing world. But is some of their marketing advice just basic know-how?

With billions of users, Facebook is still a force in digital marketing world. But is some of their marketing advice just basic know-how?

People have been predicting the fall of Facebook for some time now. Recent articles claim the behemoth will shut itself down in early 2016 to focus on its other platforms (Instagram and WhatsApp, as of right now). The Facebook face plant will be accelerated—these digital-age Nostradamuses claim—because users will be finally fed up with having their information plastered with “for sale” signs.

Who knows?

The only certain thing right now is that Facebook has some serious competition, especially among the coveted female digital mavens. Pinterest in particular is making a hefty cyber dent in Facebook’s once impenetrable armor.

Facebook is also being accessed much more on mobile (about a third of users), which changes a lot about it—most notably that there are less ad slots available. The ads are still wanted by advertisers, so the laws of supply and demand kick in and dictate that the price must go up. Overall, there are about 25% fewer ads on Facebook mobile, yet the cost has gone up over 120%. Ouch.

All of these shenanigans have lead to some interesting meetings between Facebook and ad agencies, large brands and even small to mid-size businesses. Over the summer, representatives from Facebook did a sort of nationwide tour to reconnect with customers and give them advice—so when they do manage to get an ad or post on the 1.3-billion-strong platform, it may actually get noticed by someone.

Facebook also made it known that it still conquers all in response. A recent survey found that 38% of users make a purchase after engaging with a company on Facebook, as opposed to Pinterest, which came in at 29%, and Twitter, finishing a paltry third at 22%.

Here are some of the tips Facebook insiders offered to make marketing on it better for everyone:

  1. Be visual. Photos attract eyeballs, particularly cool photos. Use something unusual or colorful to draw people in while they’re posting photos of their cats or kids.
  2. Let your biggest fans do some of the heavy lifting for you. Don’t waste all your time lamenting and responding to negative posts. Many times, if you have eager fans, they’ll come to your defense for you. See how it plays out before you go jumping on your keyboard.

You can also encourage or even reward enthusiasts who post photos of themselves enjoying your product or service. It’s the age-old testimonial approach so popular in advertising that’s found new life in social media in the form of photos and reviews.

  1. See what works and copy it. So much for originality, but Facebook suggested looking at your own newsfeed and paying attention to what catches you. Study that formula, and use it for yourself. They also recommended, of course, to use the platform’s “boost” feature and pay to promote a post that’s doing well organically.
  2. Target your stuff and be strategic. Facebook warned against showing a “general ad” to a specific audience. The platform gives you the ability to really target, so everything you do should take advantage of that.

Using Facebook’s page insights, you can see when your fans are most active—and do scheduled posts right before the masses show up.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with all of this expert “advice.” As I read about these Facebook sessions over the summer, I was looking for something, well, a little more brain dazzling. I wanted the scoop, the code, the keys to some hidden box of secrets.

Instead, we got: Be strategic and targeted… use formulas that have worked before for others… try testimonials… be visually interesting and attention-getting… make sure you’re in the right places at the right time, so your audience sees you. Really?

Sounds suspiciously like Marketing 101, doesn’t it?

– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group

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