The Problem With Facebook Is You

I will readily admit that I didn’t always believe in Facebook ads.

I didn’t get the value. Sure I could get people to “Like” my page. But who gives a crap?

Now I realize:  I should give a crap. You should give a crap.

There are 3 facts in marketing you need to internalize:

1. 7 times. That’s the number of times someone has to hear your marketing message before you even begin to register as someone they might like to do business with. That’s the “Rule of 7.”

2. People like people they spend time with. Just spending time with someone will make them like you more.

3. People buy from who they like.

Let me ask you this: How the hell are you going to spend time with people so they like you? And how are you going to get marketing messaging in front of people at least 7 times?

There’s a guy who wants me to buy health insurance from him. He keeps calling and I keep avoiding him. I know exactly what he wants. He just wants to sell me insurance. Every time he calls he just reminds me how annoying and self-serving he is. I don’t need to talk to him about insurance. I know he sells insurance and I’m not ready to talk to him. I think he thinks he just needs to “close me.” In reality he just is annoying the shit out of me.

I’m sure he’s called 7 times. The rule of 7 is working against him. He’s just pushy.

But what if he was my friend on Facebook?

What if he bought sponsored stories in Facebook talking about anything interesting and useful about what a small business owner should know about buying health insurance? Or what about this: What if he bought a sponsored story talking about something interesting in his life. What if he bought a sponsored story and didn’t mention insurance at all!? Don’t you think I’d have a completely different opinion of this guy?

The problem isn’t Facebook. Facebook is giving you access to 900 million people on planet earth that you can slice and dice in an endless array of micro-demographic targeting.

The problem is that you don’t know how to talk to them.

I saw Marty Weintraub blow the minds of an entire room (yet again) at Search Engine Strategies Toronto.

Marty Weintraub at Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2012

He talked about many great concepts. But an important one was: There isn’t a problem with Facebook. It’s not that it’s a bad place to market. In fact it’s an amazing place to market. The problem is that we don’t know how to market on Facebook.

It’s not a Facebook problem. It’s a marketing problem.

I totally agree.

I’d highly recommend you read Greg’s latest post at Search Engine Watch:
5 Quick Tips to Help Any Viable Social Marketplace Work For You

He analyzes stats on a variety of Facebook pages. The thing he saw over and over again was that these companies had thousands of Likes. But they had really low engagement. They have no idea what to do with that audience. It’s not a Facebook problem. It’s a marketing problem.

The tip that Greg offers that I believe has the greatest clue how to use social media for marketing is this one:

Don’t try to push messaging down the throat of your potential audience. Instead try to understand why they are there in the first place and how you can compliment and expand that experience.

You have to understand why your audience is at a particular site (and believe me, your audience is there) and then you have to figure out how to participate at that point.

Imagine this:

Scenario 1:
You are at the bar on Saturday night and your mom comes in wanting to talk about how you need to parent your kids better.

Scenario 2:
You are at church on Sunday morning and your mates from Saturday night come barging into the church all drunk yelling about how you all need to go play horseshoes at the pub down the street.

Scenario 3:
You are at work and your spouse calls to talk about what you are going to do about your kid that plays too many video games.

Scenario 4:
You are on Facebook and your bank injects a story into your feed about how interest rates are at an all time low.

These people are talking to you at the wrong place at the wrong time.

You don’t have to talk “product” to your audience all the time. They know what you do. Sometimes you can just talk to them like they are people. I realize that’s a mind blowing concept. But dare to imagine this:

If you want a friend maybe you should try being a friend.

Advertising heresy. I know. But try it. You might be surprised at the outcome.

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