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Facebook: the newspaper of life

Checking Facebook in the morning is part of my daily routine, right between having a shower and putting the kettle on. It’s somehow become embedded into one of many of my life rituals.

I set up my Facebook account way back in 2006. As a university student interning at a digital marketing agency I was asked to be the office guinea pig to see how it worked.  Slowly but surely my profile began to grow as I invited fellow students to join and suddenly my News Feed became a documentary of university life, nights out in, all-nighters in the library, uploading photos of the good, the bad and the ugly.

5 years down the line and I found myself launching John Lewis on social media, connecting the much-loved UK brand to the rapturous applause and cries of ‘we’ve been waiting for you’, ‘where have you been?’  from their social-savvy customers. As the Social Community Manager my days were spent planning the best ways to connect with customers in the social space, all the while promoting new products, sharing store updates, laughing (and crying) with customers over that year’s Christmas TV campaign on Facebook.

The evolution of Facebook, the social media channel that started as a way to connect university students has transformed my News Feed. No longer is my feed a live update of friends’ antics, it’s saturated with news stories, brands promoting their products and services, family and friends.

Facebook works on an algorithm, driving what it thinks are relevant status updates, brand promotions and news stories based on your activity within the channel, direct to your News Feed.

All this is changing as Facebook has announced that in 2015 it will begin monitoring and reducing Facebook posts that are overly promotional. Including posts that:

  • Only drive people to buy a product or install an app
  • Push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Reuse content from sponsored Facebook ads

In addition, the social media channel will open up options for users to control what they see in their News Feed more, along with bundling posts that are from the same user in one day or on related topics.

So what does that mean for brands?

Facebook is a sociable platform. It’s not a direct eCommerce platform. If customers want to buy your product they’ll go to your website or visit your shop. Facebook is conversational, and for brands it’s a perfect way to tap into topics of interest, provide an opportunity for inspiration and build a genuine relationship with customers to drive engagement and build brand awareness.

So here are my top tips;

  • Don’t be ‘post happy’. Facebook is not Twitter. Users don’t need a minute by minute update from you
  • Be human. Facebook’s conversational, give your audience a reason to want to interact with you. Make it personal
  • Interact. It should never be a one-way conversation. Ask a question, share an opinion, request feedback. Always reply!
  • Capture the moment. Make your content relevant

 If you’d like help with managing your social media whether it be training needs or community management. Get in touch. We’d love to see how we can help.