It seems that most brands and nonprofits are still trying to get their head around what works on Facebook.
What content works best, what time to publish updates, how to use sponsored stories are consistent themes being discussed among nonprofit marketers.
But yet, these issues are just symptoms of bigger challenges that we all need to better understand.
Following are five reasons why Facebook marketing is presenting new and/or unusual challenges:
1. You’re still thinking push
You’d think that social media would have changed the mass-productive push mentality that’s been so pervasive since the Industrial Revolution. But it hasn’t.
Facebook, and most social media for that matter, are still viewed as a free email list to be “targeted” and marketing to.
To amp things up on Facebook, you have to flip this mindset 180 degrees and instead think about creating a space for your supporters to share what matters to them.
2. You need to understand people
Google tells you what people are searching for in in the form of words typed into a little search box. It’s literally spelled out for you. Not so with Facebook.
What makes Facebook users share, comment and like can seem very much a mystery.
You need to look for patterns in Facebook Insights and make inferences based on those patterns. You need to understand the emotional drivers of your people.
3. You’re competing with their friends
Think about the last time you opened up Facebook on your laptop or mobile device. Was it to find out what your favorite brands were sharing? Exactly.
It’s the same thing with your supporters. Every time you publish an update in their Newsfeed, you’re competing with birth announcements, political rants, vacation pictures and recommended bands!
Remember that you’ll never trump someone’s friends, but the more you can come across with a friend-like voice, the better you’ll do.
4. You’re competing for attention
Facebook users are constantly distracted.
They might have the best intentions to view an update they were notified about by email, but as soon as they open up Facebook, they see more notifications in the menu and in their friends lists.
They see a dog dressed up as little red riding hood. They also see ads that are also competing for their attention.
Capturing and recapturing people’s attention will always be a challenge on Facebook.
5. You’re dealing with mobile devices
Every other challenge mentioned here happens within a smaller space on mobile devices. Did you know that each image you post on your Facebook Page takes up the entire screen on an iPhone?
Yes, there are less elements to distract users, but there’s also less space you’re competing for.
Curiosity and Creativity are the key
Most of the challenges here are not insurmountable, but sometimes they feel that way.
The best way forward is to have a solid understanding of how to best use Facebook for your organization. Write this plan down.
And stay curious!