Wed, September 28 2011

Facebook’s big changes and what they mean to you

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Social Media •

I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the hoopla—Facebook is changing its pages and your personal life will now appear as a timeline, with a more organized and in-depth view of snapshots of your existence over the years.  It’s a bit like a digital scrapbook.  The simple world of “likes” will be replaced by a more complex series of reactions to interest areas.  Any verb (not just “like”) can be used as an action, thanks to a new feature called Gestures.  (A good summary is here.)  And those apps?  You won’t have to approve them all the time, so careful what you’re sharing!  You can also consume media right within Facebook - and have your friends see what you’re watching.

I’ve spent a little time this week fiddling around with my timeline and reading what various social media experts are saying about what this means to organizations, not just individuals.  I think these insights are worth sharing if you’re a nonprofit that has spent quite a bit of time building a community on Facebook.

1. If you have a Cause on Facebook, good news: Causes is very much on top of the changes, and they may be good news for supporters who want to show support for your organization more visibly.  Read more here.  If your organization is on Facebook but is not using Causes, read this.  (Full disclosure: My organization is partnered with Causes.)

2. What always held true holds MORE true now: Facebook is about conversation and relationships.  If you want to succeed in using it as a tool to build engagement, you have to treat it as such.  Recommended reading: this post by Beth Kanter.

3. Focus on real ROI.  Build relationships with an eye toward actually getting people to do something of value for your cause.  Read Beth Kanter’s thoughts on moving people along the ladder of engagement from the same post I cited here.  I completely agree with this.  If you’re spending your scarce and valuable time on social media, make sure it matters in an important way for your organization.  Set goals and meet them.

4. Great content will matter EVEN MORE. Read John Haydon’s thoughts here.

By the way, John is absolutely right when he says: “The good news is that 99% of communication and marketing professionals are too lazy and uninterested in having real discussions with their fans. So if you have a sincere commitment to do this, the competition will be few.”

The headline is that following the good advice that’s been out there for a long time is no longer optional but essential.  Namely, with Facebook you now must really, truly focus on relationship-building, clear movement toward action and superlative content. 

  • Comment: (6)   


Seems to me that FB is making a concerted effort, wtih MSoft’s help, to replace MySpace as THE entertainment portal. And all the ‘‘connections’ we had built, on trust, will be exploited and sold in aggregate. Time to rethink the FB support(the person in FB 4 Good, Zuck’s sister) left the company. Says a lot.

Posted by Patrick Dacre  on  09/28  at  10:39 AM

Thanks for being part of the 1%, Katya.

Posted by Margaux O'Malley  on  09/28  at  10:45 AM

Although there has been a TON written and said about Facebook’s latest changes, you’ve provided a news angle to the dialog that I’ve found particularly useful. Thanks for sharing this info. I’ll be tweeting your post for sure. smile

Posted by Pat Rhoads  on  09/28  at  10:23 PM

Thanks for the article Katya. I found it really helpful. I struggle to cope with alot of the changes they make on Facebook particularly now with the new stream and the new interface changes. Thanks for the update and the insight, its appreciated.

Posted by Printing Services  on  09/29  at  05:21 PM

Well..when we make decisions on social media, clear and predictable outcomes are important. FB has made it clear that , like MSoft, the needs of the members are not that vital. So, get used to the interface, security, etc, shifting at least monthly.

We only use FB for research, since the metrics are so unfounded and non audited.


Posted by Patrick Dacre  on  09/30  at  09:39 AM

Changes in Facebook is really for a better purpose, the old style was becoming boring to long time users like me. I love the new Facebook Timeline, it is user friendly and I enjoy updating all of the information needed.

Posted by maeve cruz  on  10/01  at  08:45 AM

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