When it comes to marketing, there are many social media platforms to use. Twitter offers a place for quick, in the moment, posts. LinkedIn offers a place for professional or industry specific posts. Instagram offers a place for visual posts. YouTube offers a place for video posts or vlogs. Snapchat is a more private instant photo and video-sharing platform. And Facebook offers a place for… all of the above? Most social media platforms have a niche type of posts, but Facebook is different. There is no particular niche. Just whatever the user decides to post.
Facebook is one of the older social media platforms, with YouTube being the oldest of the ones mentioned. Originally, it had been created specifically for text posts. Pictures and videos could be added, but that wasn’t the sole point. Eventually, photos became more prominent on the site, since it was an easy way for users to show what they were up to with friends and family. More recently, Facebook added live video-streaming to their features, as well as making it easier for users to upload videos.
For the average user, these features are fun and can be used interchangeably for an all-around experience. But what about for marketers managing Facebook pages? There is no set function for Facebook pages besides to keep customers up-to-date on the company. Which is the primary function of all businesses accounts across social media For the larger companies who have marketing teams geared towards social media, this isn’t as big an issue. But for smaller companies who have a few individuals or perhaps only one person dedicated to doing all the marketing or social media, it can be a lot harder.
I fall into this second category. For the past year or so, I’d been using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to promote myself as a writer and personality. Well, I’ve been trying to anyways. Twitter, I’ve found to be the easiest. You write a quick blurb about the day or a random thought and send it out. Easy-peasy. Instagram, you take a picture of what you’re doing, caption it with something insightful or funny, and send it out. Simple and straightforward. But that’s not the case for Facebook. Sure, you can share all your posts from other social media to Facebook, but you can do the same with Twitter, too. So what’s Facebook’s catch? How do you effectively use a social media platform where you can post whatever you want?
One way you could approach it is focusing on text posts like articles and blurbs. Another approach is focusing on photos and videos, especially live videos. The best approach does seem to be mixing text and photos, and maybe a few videos. For companies, this is pretty straightforward. You share posts from your website, new products, and press releases while posting pictures and videos or new products and things that happen within the company.
For personalities though, it isn’t as intuitive, especially when my current audience was only family members and a few sparse friends. Was I supposed to share blog posts on my website? Was I supposed to post pictures of my everyday life? But that’s what I had used my personal account for. Videos maybe? But that’s what I was using YouTube for. So what was my Facebook page for besides sharing blog posts? There was some type of barrier between Facebook pages and my own posting style. And this barrier was, and still is, having a large impact on how I was using Facebook pages. Or not using it.
In the end, I have decided that since I knew I hadn’t been using Facebook pages to the best I could, I would keep with it. Facebook isn’t the most intuitive platform, but that doesn’t mean I should give up on it. Marketing is about taking risks and figuring out what works. I still haven’t figured out how my Facebook page will work, what types of posts to, well, post, or how to attract other friends to visit and like my page. But I’m willing to stick with it until I’m able to discover my niche on Facebook and how to market on it properly. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.