There are three things to understand about facebook and I’m going to bring them to life below.
1. You have to understand people to understand Facebook. Chief David Oliver does. He’s the head honcho at Brimfield Police Department. He calls crims, mopes. He sells fashionwear based on his catchphrases. He also talks frankly about his job, about what his officers do, about all the things that matter to the local community. He has his finger on the pulse and he’s not afraid to pull punches. Chief is a bear of a man and he doesn’t shy away from controversy online, either. He pushes buttons and gets publicity.
Chief started out on Facebook to test the waters but has quickly developed a strategy. A bit like network marketing, he’s harnessing the power of having captured the attention of thousands of pairs of eyes and ears to help him capture criminals. Whenever he puts word out on Facebook, people start looking and acting. It truly is the best example of a cult I could find on Facebook.
Just like all of us, he wanted to understand the platform before truly getting stuck in to a vision. And since news broke of his devil-may-care attitude towards felons, he’s increased Facebook Likes from 49,000 to 62,000 and counting. That’s less than 48 hours’ growth.
But as you know, it’s not all about the Likes, right?
2. Have a sustained strategy – and don’t deviate for at least six months. An unusual one, this – because typically, supermarkets aren’t exactly hot on social media. But Target is, well, right on target.
Every day it finds something useful or inspiring for updates. Not many of us will have 20 million fans but the tone is still very friendly and one-to-one.
It’s a mixture of questions, recommendations, community endorsements and sneak peeks that gets Targeteers grooving to the tune of their favourite department store.
And if you go deeper than just looking at the pretty pictures and reading the infinite river of comments you’ll see that what really hits home for Target in its sustained social media efforts are those photos that stir a talking point.
Moral: get people thinking differently, and get people entertained. And go one step further, if you’re Target, and also get people buying. It’s a very clever tactic and marketing at its best. Making your customers feel valuable and sharing imagery that’s so captivating the urge to share is irresistible.
3. Free speech, isn’t. There was a woman on Facebook who decided burning mosques would be something her pals should consider. It’s not an awfully good idea, to capitalise on a tragic event and attempt through a Facebook post to stir a nation into committing atrocities fuelled by vengeance. The only positive that emerged from this sorry situation is this woman was reported to the police and she was given an eight week suspended jail sentence.
When we post things on Facebook we somehow think we’re immune from reprisal – that the only people who see what we post are the people of our inner circle.
But 1. Facebook’s privacy settings are lax at best, 2. Sharing as you would expect is absolutely rife, especially with status updates that are either controversial or fascinating, and 3. Unless you know what you’re doing anyone can subscribe to your updates.
Combine the three and you can’t possibly expect anything you say on Facebook to stay on Facebook, or even stay inside your own little bubble. Startling, awakening, but at least it’s a real example of someone getting into trouble in the UK for doing something utterly stupid on the social network.
Facebook is common sense. It’s having a vision, realising you’ll start small, focusing intently on inspiring and enlightening every follower, using their language and making them realise the value you add to their lives. And being there, being there, being there. For the long run.
For the greatest success.
Enjoyed this lesson for content strategy success? Get in touch on Twitter @davethackeray and let me know your thoughts.
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