At a number of various industry meetings I’ve participated in recently, the question of Facebook has come up a lot. Are you on it? How are you using it? Is it working? New privacy settings? I’ve done the work for you…here is what you need to know.
Why be on it? Facebook is widely accepted as being a more social site than LinkedIn or Twitter, and this may be why you are not on it. However, I would argue that ours is a very social industry. None of us work 9-to-5 jobs and often, we pull long hours ‘in the trenches,’ side-by-side with clients and suppliers. Facebook allows you to share more about yourself than your business card and resume. We all like to work with people we like. Facebook is one opportunity to stay connected with your clients socially.
What’s the marketing strategy? Once you are on Facebook, you absolutely need to start a group and/or a page for your organization. This allows other users (clients and prospects) to follow you and lets you publish news and information to your audience. Be careful, though. Facebook is a social site, so I am not joining your Facebook page to be sold to; I am joining because I have a relationship with you and want to stay current on your organization. The best application(s) I’ve seen for Facebook pages/groups is not a marketing strategy, but an HR strategy. Organizations have figured out how to use Facebook to attract new talent and retain top talent. The retention comes from using Facebook to increase morale and bonding amongst your team. As we come out of this recession in 2010 and move into 2011-plus, there will be a serious labour shortage in our industry and a Facebook HR strategy might just separate you from your competition.
New Privacy Settings. Last week, Facebook updated their user privacy settings. Overall, the new privacy settings are much simpler to manage and some new features are much needed. For example, you can now exercise privacy settings on each and every update you post. But beware…the default privacy settings that Facebook recommends goes something like: “transmit all your status updates and uploads to everyone on the Net, not just your friends.” Since Facebook estimates that only 15-20% of users take the time to adjust the privacy settings to suit their needs, this is most definitely going to lead to people sharing too much information, or accidentally leaking out stuff they thought was semi-private. Simply put, if you are going to be on Facebook, do not use the default privacy settings. We all know the ramifications of “inappropriate” content being shared publicly (think Tiger Woods).