How to Win Facebook and Influence People

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Written by Amanda Wilson

“Facebook is forcing people to create quality and relevant content”

- Steve Buors, CEO, Reshift Media

 

When Facebook first gained traction, social media became a marketing tool and people thought it was the best way to get free advertising. And then everyone started realizing 'free' doesn't mean easy, it isn't always best, and it doesn't equate to automatic success.

Now, Facebook’s latest change to their organic news feed algorithm prioritizes posts from friends and family over businesses, and of course that announcement had the internet in an uproar (negative news is easy clickbait), with complaints that Facebook is making it harder to reach the consumer.

Among the Chicken Littles claiming the sky is falling comes an insightful article on Digiday, analyzing the change and providing feedback from media buyers, who say the new algorithm is a good thing because it “will filter out clickbait-style promotions (“Like our product if you think this dog is cute”), which will pressure brands to create more meaningful content over the long term.”

Meaningful content always should have been the top priority when it comes to any kind of engagement with the consumer. Social media is probably one of the most intimate forms of interaction. Your post appears in a device that’s in a potential customer’s hands, appearing among photos and stories from the people they care most about. You can become part of their daily life. If you do it right, they’re glad that you are, and they actively promote and engage with you.

Not only that, but we’re more savvy now as consumers, and less likely to be manipulated into purchase the way we might have been 10 years ago. There’s just so much content in our newsfeeds that posts that don’t interest us pass by our thumbs in less than a second.

How do marketers combat social media content fatigue? How do you push past the cynicism and boredom people feel when scrolling through thousands of posts every day?

The answer is to always make it all about them. Customer-centric marketing is nothing new. It’s why social marketers suggest the 80-20 rule for posts. 80% of your content is educational/helpful/interesting, while only 20% should promote your product or service.

Don’t see your social media posts as sales tools. See them as engagement tools. Not as one-to-many, but one-to-one. Social media is your chance to be accessible, approachable and likeable. Tone and content are paramount in creating a friendly relationship between you and your customer. If you’re real, human, funny, kind and relatable, you’ll get the success you want. Even those sales-driven posts need to solve a problem for your consumer and be as compelling and interesting as possible.

I like the challenge Facebook has given us to work harder. We can’t afford to be lazy in our approach to social media marketing. We must keep our game up. We must be smart. And most importantly, we must be authentic in our approach. If we truly care about our target consumer, if we genuinely want to make their lives better, and if we allow that caring to drive the content we create, we automatically create stronger and more lasting connections in the social community.

Image credit: Ibrandify - Freepik.com