If you built it, why don’t they come?

11 Mar

Just %*&@ing click "Like" already!

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Truth be told, I actually hate it more than I love it. I wouldn’t even be on it if I didn’t “have to” for work. And by work, I mean professional networking as well as managing a page for Waterloo Counseling Center.

Reading this blog entry about Facebook got me thinking. Why do I hate Facebook so much? Well, I guess it’s the high expectations that people have of their agency’s Facebook Page–people think that the first thing someone will do after “liking” their Page is to donate money. Not only is that NOT the first think they do, it’s often next to impossible to get them to react in some other way that doesn’t cost them anything but  30 seconds of their time. Come on people, click “like” on a post, comment on something, share a link–help a sister out! But people really do not do what you want or intend them to do.

So what is the point of Facebook? Well, it really depends, but one thing I think we all need to consider is who is on the other end of that screen, viewing your Page. People who are mildly interested in your organization, but who have never donated or volunteered for you may read your posts when they pop up in their feed, but they won’t take any action. It’s the folks who are already engaged with you in some way or other who will extend their real-world actions to include virtual actions.

So while I feel that Facebook is a necessity, it can’t exist on its own. It has to be just one more way you reach people you’re already reaching in other ways. It has to be a single spoke in your total engagement strategy. Otherwise all you’ll get is harmless voyeurs who may check in with you once a month, but not “join the conversation” as they say in social media. You can convert the voyeurs and guide your more active and vocal supporters to your Page, but it takes time and patience–as well as some kind of strategy. When I figure that one out, I’ll let you know.

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