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Your Business Needs to be More Like Facebook – Here Are 10 Reasons Why
Facebook is a modern day phenomenon. It’s the epitome of a start-up that made it happen. From a Uni bedroom to the stock exchange and then some, we all know and buy into the story. It’s something I’ve always marvelled at as a business owner.
Mark Zuckerberg and his ever-growing team seem pretty unstoppable. And maybe they are. But it’s no fluke, and Facebook’s success is no surprise to me. Look at the businesses that fell in the last decade. BIG businesses that seemed to have been around for ever. HMV, Blockbuster Video, BHS… all huge names in their niche but they all fell a long way from the the top.
Facebook, on the other hand, seem to go from strength to strength. So what can we learn from them? When you look at Facebook as a business and not a social media platform it’s quite interesting to see how you can (and should) copy many of the traits Facebook has.
Notifications – You keep coming back for more
Notifications are everywhere and of course the Facebook app has them too. It’s so simple but so effective. Having an alert, a message, a sound, a ping on your phone to remind you to go back and join in the conversation is powerful.
I couldn’t find stats on how much traffic is generated by the Facebook app’s notifications but I bet it’s huge. Think about it: how many times have you been on Facebook because the app said something happened and you were curious? Do you check apps that don’t notify you of updates?
Does your business constantly remind your customer and leads about you? Do you send out emails, tweets, letters, press releases and online content to draw your audience back to you? Just simply using a Facebook ad will do this but also look into your business too.
Are you frequently engaging with your current customers and future leads?
The newsfeed on Facebook never stands still. It’s constantly changing what it offers to us, the customer, to make the experience better for us… so we keep coming back for more and stick with them.
The algorithm that runs Facebook is in constant flux; it never gets stagnant. It’s a nightmare for marketers but for the user it creates a better user-experience and this proved by the constant growth of the user base.
Is your business keeping up with the times or are you heading for a HMV situation? Music was always going to go digital and Apple changed the face of music with the iPod. As I write this I’m listening to my iTunes on my Mac. I can’t remember the last time I used a CD. HMV didn’t plan for that.
What about your business? Are you updating your algorithm constantly? Are you planning to be ahead before the market is? It’s easier said than done but you could argue it’s essential! Younger customers now expect customer service via tweets and payment online as standard.
Live and real
Quite simply – Facebook is real experience. It’s live, constant and you can’t help but get wrapped up in it. Your business needs to stay up on the news and updates for your industry and make sure you demonstrate that to your customers and future customers.
Facebook is one of the places I go for my news. Are you an authority in the news that affects your customers?
Facebook is purely for entertainment at times. It’s there to pass the time. It’s a toy; a plaything if you like. I wonder how many people simply check Facebook instead of watching the TV? I wonder how many times Facebook is accessed at lunchtime? I wonder what the mix of news reading to entertainment is?
Are you entertaining your customers? Are you keeping them happy? Are you engaging them in conversation on a regular basis and making them laugh occasionally?
We try to meet our customers regularly and we’ve started running mini workshops to help them ‘get’ what we’re after. We entertain them and educate them at the same time.
It’s really very important to make your customers feel at ease with you as well as offering so much value they’ll never look anywhere else.
It’s a choice to work with us (and you), after all!
Always staying ahead
Facebook always seem one step ahead, doesn’t it? Now they have so much cash they simply buy the experts in, but think where they started and then imagine how easy it would’ve been for someone like Microsoft, Virgin or Apple to rip it off.
Actually Facebook wasn’t even the first social media platform. MySpace surpassed daily traffic to Google in June 2006 – it wasn’t a small competitor. But Facebook still managed to overtake them in April 2008 and it’s been ahead ever since. Apologies to Tom over on MySpace who’s not had anyone to chat to for a while. And remember Friends Reunited? No one needed any more so it’s gone.
Staying ahead takes a hell of a lot of effort and determination. At Spaghetti, we rarely look at our competition as we’re concentrating on what we offer, so I don’t for one minute suggest that you should.
But we’re constantly working on what we offer and how we offer it. We want to be the best at what we do and we’ll work for it.
Are you? Are you planning on staying ahead forever? Or are you just doing the same thing over and over again?
Facebook has changed so much since it was called ‘The Facebook’ <insert image>. How much has your business changed?
Striving to be unique
Think your business arena is hard? Put yourself in the seat of Mark Zuckerbeg when Google, one of the world’s largest companies, opened up a competing social media network. With a worldwide database on Google mail, YouTube and other mainstream products, Google+ was set to be a game-changer.
But Facebook stayed true to what it was doing and didn’t try to copy Google+’s complicated system. They had a mission of connecting and entertaining people. They weren’t trying to be an SEO-driven tool and everything Google tried to make us love about Google+ eventually died. It’s still around but I don’t know the last time I posted on it. It’s now just for SEO in our world.
Facebook, at its core, is still about birthdays, weddings, college connections and photos of your friends. It’s impressive to see how its changed but still stuck to that winning formula over 12 years.
In business you have to take risks. If you don’t – you’re not really in business! Even starting a business is a risk! Facebook have taken many risks in the last 12 years and I’m sure many of them failed. But one of those risks, one of those HUGE purchases, now makes total sense.
In February 2014 Facebook bought the messaging app Whatsapp for $19B! It seemed a crazy amount of money and it wasn’t really clear if Facebook were just buying up the competition.
But, just recently, Facebook has announced it’s going to be running ads based on the information on Whatsapp. The data in Whatsapp is a powerful resource to Facebook and It’s now clear what a great purchase it was.
It was a big risk but it looks like a blinding move to me. Are you taking risks? Are you doing things other people around you are saying is crazy?
Most of the most incredible inventions in the world were designed by people who simply did things differently and didn’t care for ‘normal’.
Take risks: it’s what life and business are all about!
Simple to understand
Facebook is simple to understand. We ‘get it’ when we land there. Is your business simple to understand? Will I get it when I look at it? When we re-branded in May 2015 we did so because the web company who built this site said we were too busy and too complicated with our message online.
We re-branded and scaled down what we talked about online. This in turn scaled down the business to offer just four main areas. It makes more sense now and it helps people to understand what we do… as well as making the marketing really simple!
Facebook gently add a whole load of extra value to us when we get there but initially it’s just about keeping up with friends. Of course it’s way more than that… but if they told us everything right away we’d struggle to get it.
KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.
It remembers when it’s your birthday…
Simple but effective. Your birthday is a special day and to be remembered on that day is very special to many. Facebook of course makes a massive effort to get your friends to write on your wall. It posts in your timeline that it’s one of your friend’s birthdays and makes it very simple, easy, and quick, for you to post a message.
Do you make a special effort for your customer’s birthdays and special occasions?
It recalls things from the past…
Facebook is great at this. Facebook will often regurgitate a post from the past and get you engaged with it once more. You can do this in your business too. Working on people who already buy from you is often seen as far more effective than trying to find new ones.
Go back through your clients and make sure you’ve done everything you agreed to do. Make sure you followed up and tried to make that idea work, or really did answer all the questions about that new product or service you tried to sell.
We use a CRM called Capsule. It records all the interactions with our customers so the team at Spaghetti Agency know what’s going on, but it also gives us invaluable data about conversations and actions from the past.
Dig up the past and see what else you can sell into your customers and keep that all-important conversation going.
I think you could learn a lot about your business from Facebook and the way they engage their audience, stay constant, up-to-date, take risks, and value their audience.
Whatever you think of Facebook, they are a true success story. Mark Zuckerberg and team really have changed a part of the world! How can you emulate some of the learnings from Facebook?
What else can Facebook teach us about business? Add your comments below now (good or bad!).
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