As I’ve already mentioned in this post, Facebook is something I looked to integrate with our website quite early on. In the early days it was to benefit from a little extra interactivity which the platform this site used to be on didn’t provide.
Why Facebook? Do I even need to ask the question? Whether you love it or hate it, Facebook is undeniably a huge part of internet marketing.
Now this site is a lot more ‘normal’ in the sense that Facebook and Twitter don’t form a great part of it and the integration is no more than social sharing because we now get things like comments out of the box (no need to use a Facebook widget).
It’s just occurred to me that I nearly said gadget there and never really thought of the relationship between a widget and a gadget. I’ll have to look that up – I suppose a widget is just a gadget on a website, right? Is the relationship just virtual/digital vs physical/real)? Sorry, I digress.
Facebook. I have to admit I have never been the biggest fan of Facebook. I am instantly a hypocrite in saying that because if you look me up, you’ll see that I have a fair few connections and use Facebook quite regularly.
The reason for this, and why I use Facebook and have many connections as me, is because I prefer to be genuine than using fake IDs and spamming people. I probably should have created a separate account and used that for marketing purposes (are there any Facebook Police reading this) anyway, I haven’t. I did create another version of me, still me with all my correct details, nothing false, to split our website marketing from personal stuff, but the truth is that I don’t really need (or want) Facebook for too much personal stuff, plus a lot of what we do in lifestoogood crosses over with our personal stuff anyway … I could go on and on and have probably written too much about my reasoning already… let’s get to some facts…
So what’s been done w.r.t. Facebook
- We have a Facebook fanpage here: www.facebook.com/lifestoogood (cool URL but unfortunately the page still has the old url as it’s title, looks like we can’t change that – I tried to find such a thing as a Facebook support team but I think they don’t actually exist!).
- Updates, thoughts, discussions etc are all posted to the Wall on the Facebook fanpage. Every time we add something to the website we post about it on our Facebook page. This means if you want to be kept updated in your Facebook stream, you just have to ‘Like’ our Facebook page and you will get these updates.
- I like the idea of just updating people via Facebook as it’s non-intrusive. We have so far avoided emails from our site as I’ve had some bad experiences with being spammed. Naiive probably – as we have complete control of the frequency of the content, plus it’s up to people to choose if they want these emails or not, so we’ve recently decided we should have those too and I’ve just added a subscription form on our homepage (and posted about it on our Facebook page).
- When we have a particularly interesting addition to the site, whether functionality, guest posts, a new page or a new article, I may also post that on my own personal wall, to reach a different audience. This will mean some people may get the same post twice, once from the Facebook page and once from me but it only happens occasionally, usually I just put updates on the Facebook page.
Some other Facebook marketing strategies and where we stand on these…
- Friend Collecting – For a while I was collecting friends in Facebook (which I know a lot of marketers do as part of their strategy) and then inviting them to visit our site or page. I decided I don’t really like this so stopped soon after starting. In any case I get plenty of friend requests so instead I accept these when they come along and as people have asked me I drop them a note introducing them to our site and Facebook page then it’s up to them.
- Webinars – I don’t like all the webinar invites I get. It seems like the internet marketing world has gone webinar crazy. there is probably something in it and maybe it’s a good way to get engagement and build traffic (assuming the webinar is good) or to build authority and credibility. For the moment I am a little bothered by all of the webinars I’m invited to so this, coupled with the time investment and just not having gotten round to considering these have prevented us from doing anything on the subject of webinars so far.
- Facebook groups – This has to be the worst thing about Facebook at the moment, along with tagging. The number of times I get my inbox clogged with emails because somebody has added me to a Facebook group is just annoying. The problem is that people don’t need to ask your permission to add you to a group (or to ‘tag’ you) so they can put you in a group and subject you to every update that is posted in that group in the form of a separate email spamming you if they so wish. Obviously not a very good strategy for making friends but some people obviously believe this is a good way to reach lots of people. We don’t use Facebook groups and probably never will unless Facebook changes the way they implement them.
- Sharing – As mentioned above we post our updates via our Facebook page and we also have Facebook sharing buttons on our site – after every post/article and in the footer. Apart from this if I come across other sites which I think are useful, jokes etc then I will share these too – not too much but just anything I think really adds value for people.
- Using Facebook as Page – this is a very useful mechanism that I do use from time to time. If you use Facebook as your own fanpage, then you can ‘Like’ other pages as your page and see their updates in your page’s stream (as opposed to your own stream). Then adding valuable comments and feedback on other people’s pages and posts via your pages stream will get your brand out there, building credibility, networking and having your site’s name associated with the comments people may click on your username and like your fanpage.
- Posting directly on other people’s pages – I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have the permission of the fanpage owner (otherwise it could have the opposite effect to that you’re looking for) though some people do. With the permission of the owner and it becomes a strong message to fans of that page, particularly if the owner comments on your post on their page! Without their permission then they may not like it and why take that chance? People will see your link to your Facebook fanpage when you make helpful comments as described above.
- Facebook Notes – these can be used like little mini blog posts and to link back to your site. We haven’t done this, not for any particular reason other than we write our content on our site. Perhaps one to consider in the future…
- Facebook Tagging Gangs – Look it up… for the moment this is not something that appeals to us… 😉
The thing about Facebook is that you can’t deny it is a very powerful marketing tool – plus it’s free. This does mean that along with Facebook and any kind of Facebook marketing strategy some care is needed not to be associated with some of the dodgier practices that go on using this platform.
As stated above, our goal is to be non-intrusive in our marketing and that means using Facebook as one of the channels in our marketing strategy, mainly to be accessible via that channel for those (millions and millions) who use it … but not to over-use it.
p.s. please do share this post if you like it… 😉 lol