Nearly all businesses have a Facebook page but results vary wildly because some brand managers still fail to recognize that Facebook is a channel with just as much power as television, radio, and print (if not more so). Yet many marketers continue to give it short shrift because of any number of concerns, “I don’t know what to say,” or “I don’t see the value,” or “I don’t have pictures to post,” and the most worrisome of all, “what if something goes wrong?”
Broadcasting the company’s message on Facebook is a task frequently delegated to a well-meaning but inexperienced junior staff member who treats it the same way most twenty-somethings treat their personal Facebook page: unthinkingly. Worse, at a recent conference, one community manager reported that he considered the company’s Facebook page to be an extension of HIS personality. Although a collective gasp ran through the audience, this type of bad behavior happens frequently.
Off brand messages that go awry on a social media platform like Facebook can quickly get out of hand and be potentially damaging to a brand. What marketers need to realize is that a brand needs to take just as much (we think more) care when crafting social media messages as they would if they were prepping the CEO for an interview with The New York Times. The attention to the message doesn’t change just because the channel changes. Of course, there are subtle nuances to weaving the organization’s brand story into Facebook posts.
Facebook is frequently devalued as a legitimate communication channel and that’s one of the main reasons it gets left to the most junior staff member with little oversight. This too, can be a costly mistake. Facebook is a free platform with a huge reach that can deliver an amazing return on investment.
Creating compelling content for Facebook can be time-consuming and complicated. It’s important to make sure that images are on-brand and properly licensed and that messages map back to the brand’s values and tone. Creating content that breaks through the millions of Facebook messages every minute needs the same care and oversight that is given to press releases and other external communications.