Facebook has become even more common than the most mainstream media type of our generation, the tabloid newspaper. The simple writing style, the emphasis on pictures, the sensational captions and the celebrity endorsements are all there, just like an edition of the New York Post
or London’s Sun
There is no-one to blame for this trend; it is simply a product of being the most popular media platform on the planet. And mass popularity can only be achieved if you appeal to the masses.
Rising above the “sameness”
The tabloid nature of Facebook is an important realization for brands and organizations to make, especially if they want to stand out from the cloud of “sameness” engulfing Facebook's magical feed.
It is almost as brands have mastered Facebook 1.0 (a huge
challenge internally and externally for many), plateaued, and are now trying their hands at Facebook 2.0.
So, how do you stand out? What is a Facebook 2.0 tactic versus a 1.0 tactic? Is your Facebook page destined for a plot at the virtual cemetery while your rival ascends to angelic status? Enough questions, time for some answers.
Your still operating a Facebook 1.0 page if you are doing the following:
• Running generic 50 percent off special offers every week (normally as a pasted flyer graphic). Imagine you are walking down the street and are constantly confronted by price-driven billboards—you'd go out of your way to ignore those messages. Well, Facebook pages are the same.
• You only talk about yourself, your products, and your people. News flash: If someone has illustrated their fondness for your brand by “liking” your page, chances are they have a good idea of the things you sell, making content of that nature somewhat pointless.
• Overuse of studio/professional photography. Boring product shots aren't engaging, especially if they are ripped straight from a menu.
• The “Hit LIKE if...” tactic is used on nearly every single post. It is good to encourage interaction with your content; however, using this tactic too much gets boring and, worse, tells me you are only interested in the number of “likes” you are getting as opposed to serious interaction. Remember, comments and shares require more effort from fans and as a result indicate a better level of engagement than a “lazy like.”
• You refuse to feature other people's content. Content curation (as opposed to creation) is the most efficient way of creating a destination that people find time to visit because you're consistently finding things they love and can consequently share. If you only share your own originally created content. the things you can talk about will be severely restricted.
The people advising brands on how to best use Facebook need to ask themselves some serious questions, chief among them: Has your Facebook output become as mainstream as the platform itself?
While the tabloid edition of Facebook might survive for a while, just like its offline cousin, it needs reinvention or it may need resuscitation.
A version of this story first appeared on AdamVincenzini.com.