Just 6 days ago, we put together a basic slide presentation for a small social media workshop. In it, we addresses various ways people could use Facebook Pages for networking and how best to do so for causes, or small business, or local event promotions.
Today, the major Facebook Page update went live and practically EVERYTHING about Facebook networking in that presentation is WRONG! Everything we said about Facebook pages is wrong. And almost every tip and trick we gave is now, you guessed it, wrong.
I doubt the Hindu Prince had Facebook in mind when he utter the wise words above, but it sure does apply. I am so thankful that during the presentation I am Tweeted as saying:
I think that today’s roll out of the new Page format is one of the most radical to date. Oh granted, it makes pages look more like the new profiles and maybe a regular FB user won’t see a big change at first, but that’s not what had me yelling in the office today. Yes, I will admit that I was so excited that I was yelling. I’m loud and geeky and when I get really excited my LawnGuyland accent comes out. It’s OK, I actually felt more love for Facebook than I have in a long time. See, as a marketer on Facebook… this change was epic.
As I have always explained to people ( like in last week’s presentation), Facebook is really set up for PEOPLE. FB wants us all to have our ONE single profile of our real selves; our user profiles. Facebook PAGES are, of course, for businesses and promotions and everything else that is NOT a real live human being. The PAGES are run OFF of the USER Profiles. So we can FRIEND other PEOPLE, but can only LIKE PAGES, but pages cannot do much at all for themselves. Pages just sit there and wait. People have to come to them and like them. People can go about to different areas, and ask people to be their friends and like pages and comment on other pages and people’s walls, but not pages. As I like to explain it, Pages do not have legs.
The problem that marketers have faced is that we have to promote pages ( usually). And while I personally have a pretty extensive friend network on FB, when I am working on a client’s page for which DragonSearch administers, the only people that I can recommend to “like” a page or who will see something I share, are my own people. These poor folks can only like so many of my clients and I, personally, can really only have so many friends on FB. That doesn’t promote a new page to stardom. Even if all us Dragons beg all our networks, it’s still a rather incestuous bunch of fans for any one page. Not so great.
Plus, one of the great ways of getting a link to page ON another, say more popular page, in order to glean some of those fans due to the very well research relevant communities that we are drawing on, is to cross promote with @ tagging. Again, the problem is that we are signed in as our real selves and maybe, for the clients sake, I need to cross promote to a page that I personally don’t want to “like” and I don’t want my real friends to even think that I could “like” something like ….. oh, I don’t know..let’s say something UBER right wing! Or maybe , again for the client, they are located in Oregon and my network is mostly the east coast. I can’t really run around Facebook friending every one in say, Eugene, just because they all live close to the Widget makers. For one, I’ll get flagged as a spammer ( true!) and two, most people would deny me anyway since they don’t know me from a hole in the wall.
So what did a million marketers and small business do to escape the poor crippled Page constraints? We made additional user profiles. Fully knowing that it was against the rules of Facebook, we have built huge empires and I assume, like myself, we secretly prayed that Facebook would never start checking IP addresses and start banning people who held multiple accounts.
“How could they?”, we would say, “Facebook is huge for marketers and they need the advertising budgets, they couldn’t do that to us!”.. but I know I held that fear in my heart.
Would Facebook realize how many people I am? Oh, I know that tons of other people do it, but it says not to in the rules. Plus, it always felt somewhat unethical pretending to be a real person, when.. really.. it’s fake. It’s hypocritical to coach a brand to be true and authentic, then your prime Facebook marking tactic is to pretend that Suzanne, the hip housewife from Kansas, is that brand’s number one fan and she just loves to share everything they do to her massive, growing network of mommy bloggers just because she’s cool like that.
Today, what I shouted upon first seeing the whole update is that “PAGES HAVE LEGS!”
I was going to a page to post an event when the change rolled out. I don’t usually “take the tour”, but this time.. I knew better. This was more than the tab size changing. This was bigger than the loss of boxes. This was larger than all the tabs/apps altercations.
OK.. photos are now at the top like on user profiles.
Yeah, yeah..I’m not 100% in love with the new Photo feature on profiles, so I glance over this one.
I miss the ability to filter and see the pictures that people have commented on. I move on.
What? Where are the tabs? No tabs?
Where are my sweepstakes applications that I am running? Ok I can still get to them and after a brief hiccup, everything is again working smoothly. Whew!
Now we’re down to two filters rather than three.
That’s OK.. maybe more pages run by other folks will open up their settings to the EVERYONE which really is much more inviting and interactive.
Wait a minute… I can MAKE COMMENTS ON ANOTHER PAGE AS A PAGE!!!!!!
A Page can LIKE OTHER PAGES?
I don’t get to the last part of the tour…
Yeah, this is where I started yelling about pages and legs.
So I go to the Account above and I see that indeed I have a choice to comment on the page as ME or as the PAGE!
No more do I shy away from personally interacting with something I actually would like because I admin a page and cannot just be ME.
No more do pages with multiple admins need to wonder who posted what or have conversations within that look like bizarre episodes of speaking to oneself..or, as many have done.. be stuck using initials or other means of identification so other visitors can begin to understand.
And no longer much we create an army of users needed to “like” things that the PAGE needs to interact with, but as PEOPLE, we don’t want to.
I can switch from one PAGE to another and like things appropriate for THAT client and STILL maintain my own personal self.
What Facebook just did was give us true independence as Facebook marketers and allow us to be true to our own personal profiles and our clients at the same time. How will all the real users feel now that PAGES have the ability to talk TO them and interact WITH them in THEIR areas? I don’t know. I am sure there will be backlash and I am sure that people will complain, but my answer to that.. well, that was in the tweet; just roll with it.
I’m not rolling with it this time.. I am yelling, I am elated and I am jumping up and down with joy.