Let’s face it – a lot of companies have Facebook pages because managers who do not understand social media feel obliged to follow the trend…
So all your competitors have Facebook pages, there’s a squillion users, and you constantly read articles singing the praises of the church of Facebook. Hey, we should be on there too! …right? So let’s not waste any more time, and let’s get the youngest (and therefore most qualified) person in the organization to fast forward this company into the future!
I am of the school of thought that no communication is better than bad communication. In my world, there are no communications just for the sake of communicating, but only relevant and targeted messages to stakeholders who are receptive to hearing them. Therefore, something that always precedes a communication campaign is a needs analysis – what do my stakeholders need and how can I deliver it to them? What follows is the tautology that if none of my stakeholders are on Facebook, or my messages are not social-friendly, then I simply shouldn’t be on there.
What often happens in organizations is that interns will in fact understand this simple logic, but still be tasked with communicating irrelevant messages to stakeholders that don’t exist. I know of a few examples of people ripping their hair out because their managers simply refuse to understand.
So what ends up happening is that an intern or junior staff member is tasked with managing a campaign that is doomed to failure. What’s worse, it’s their first time doing it, they don’t want to do it, and they really don’t have a clue.
Here’s five ways to tell.
1. Making wall posts asking you to like their page
The intern’s manager will judge the success of the campaign by how many likes they can get. After all, we can convert likes into money… right? This extremely amateur mistake (which by the way, I have seen on the Guinness Facebook page, so I’m not making this up), where the person managing the page doesn’t realize that only people who already like the page can see the wall post in the first place. It’s like asking people after watching a movie to buy a ticket.
2. Using the word ‘Like’ in inverted commas
I am willing to bet that even people living in the forests of Uganda know what a like is. Using like in inverted commas is an overly cautious approach by someone who knows that someone else in the organization is watching what they’re doing.
3. Using hash tags
But it works on Twitter! Nothing will make me unlike a page faster than seeing hash tags. This is someone who is too lazy to post separate messages on separate profiles, so they do it all at once. Seeing has tags on a Facebook page shows me that the person running the page doesn’t care, and by proxy neither do I.
4.Only posting business articles
If I wanted an online MBA, I would enrol for one. There nothing social about a constant stream of drab and boring content, but the train of thought is obvious: If they like my page they must also like reading about every excruciating detail of my industry. I can’t imagine a group of CEO’s sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for someone to post business articles to Facebook.
Thanks to your mindless regurgitation of things that other people have said, I’m going to get off this chair and turn my life around! I don’t know what response people are expecting from motivational quotes, but I’m willing to bet that no one has ever made a significant improvement to their life because of something a company posted on Facebook. It’s lazy. Plain and simple.
I have put my money where my mouth is on this issue. I have been known to not only recommend to executives that their organizations should not have Facebook pages, but I have also closed the accounts of corporate pages that had no reason for existing. Facebook pages should be treated just like any other communication campaign, and should be held to the same standards. It begins with top-down buy in and needs analysis.