It’s funny the reactions I get from people when I ask if they’re on Facebook.  I either get “HECK NO!!!  I’ll never be on Facebook it’s a complete waste of time” or “I love Facebook, I can’t image life without it.” or “I’m not on Facebook anymore.”

In previous Personal Marketing Workshops I used to share Facebook as an informal network that allows friends & family to connect.  It wasn’t until just a few months ago that my viewpoint has expanded to see the big picture Facebook plays in Customer Relationship Management.

Facebook as a Tool

  • Community
    • Building relationships – staying connected with your networking groups
    • Building networks – getting in touch with like-minded people.
    • Re-connecting networks – finding people you’ve lost touch with
  • Organization
    • Dissemination of information – helping groups stay connected with timely information
    • Planning events – making it easy to get confirmation of attendance at planned group events
  • Public Relations
    • Sharing information with the public & your supporters
    • Building relationships with your supporters

When I use the word supporters my definition is anyone who wishes for you to succeed in your mission or cause.  This cause might be related to building business or community for the benefit of others.

Facebook the dark side

  • The big Time-sink
    • People with addictive behaviors can get sucked into playing Facebook games
    • They get caught up in the competition with their friends
  • Airing dirty laundry
    • Some things are better left unsaid
    • Once it’s in print it’s really easy to share the dirt with others
  • Invasion of Privacy
    • As members join Facebook games the price of entry is their friend list
    • As your friends play games their game activity is shared by default, you have to opt-out of notifications by changing your settings.
  • Some friends don’t know how to act in public
    • You get tagged on pictures you wish had never seen the light of day.  (Bad Hair Day of course)
    • Some of your friends or relatives or friends of relatives might not have a large vocabulary.  Their language is limited to the use of 3 & 4 letter words that the majority of your friends won’t appreciate.

Finding Facebook balance

Most people I know who have used Facebook seem to go through stages of love & hate with Facebook.

  • Don’t see any reason to using Facebook.  They don’t know if it will be useful to them.  If work doesn’t like it then it must not be good.
  • See how organizations are using Facebook as a tool to publicize, share, communicate with each other.
  • Realization that Facebook isn’t as useless as they had once though.
  • Obtain a Facebook account.
  • Accept friend invites.
  • Receive game invites from many Facebook friends.
  • Accept game invites after many invitations.
  • Get caught up in some Facebook games.  Not everyone on Facebook has played games.  A majority of the members I know have tried at least one game on Facebook.
  • Start to see Facebook games as a big waste of time.  Most people equate Facebook to Facebook games & therefore Facebook is a big waste of time.
  • Stop using Facebook – endless game invites & notifications.
  • Start using Facebook again to communicate with family & friends that use Facebook as their primary form of communication.
  • Start deciding which games to dump & which games to keep on playing.
  • Dump all the games, change your Privacy settings to ignore game invites & notifications.
  • Create business / fan page to promote their business or personal brand if they have one.
  • Start using Facebook as a networking tool;  sharing information, building relationships, supporting community.

I think Facebook is a wonderful networking & marketing tool.  With the right Privacy settings it can help you develop relationships with your existing & future supporters.

Are you on Facebook?  Starting again?