Fifteen years ago the message went out: For your company to be competitive in its marketplace, you need to have a website. Like the mad rush to seek gold in the Klondike at the turn of the 19th century, corporations scurried to explore uncharted territory. Repeatedly, this was done with little-to-no defined strategy or understanding about how to reap the benefits of their new online presence.
Many companies fell victim to the idea that just having a website was enough. Today’s confused approach to leveraging social media is much the same. Corporations think they need to get involved, but they’re making the same mistakes of 15 years ago all over again.
Last week, an IT Director was excited to tell me he had just launched their corporate Facebook page, followed by the statement that they didn’t really know what to do with it now. Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem!
Does anyone have all the answers about the true value of social media? Not yet. But there are early indicators that even if you’re not able to directly monetize your page, you can at least engage your “fans” and cultivate a community of like-minded advocates for your company.
Recently, the Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm, did a comprehensive white paper titled Eight Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing. In it they gathered input from 34 early adopters of corporate social media – specifically, Facebook. Here are their eight “pillars” for success in this medium:
From my perspective, the most important elements to consider when launching a corporate Facebook page are taking a human, non-corporate approach to your communications. Make your entries personal and transparent. For example, post employee photos and comments about company involvement in the community – avoid simply providing a link to a press release about the same event. Facebook pages need to be engaging, open invitations for your “fans” to participate in conversations with your company’s leadership and employees. That’s the way to create the peer-to-peer interaction and fan advocacy to strike true gold in this space!
Does your company have a Facebook page? If so, share some of your success stories and learnings from it. Thanks!