It is often said that ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’. I often talk about the power of social proof and viral marketing as it’s a great way to really leverage your marketing efforts.
Tapping into millions of people who can pass a message around the world in minutes is quite an incredible thing but what happens when the wrong message gets out.
When your 6 years old misinterpretation can be funny. When you play chinese whispers; getting it wrong is getting it right.
Fast-forward to today and misinterpretation isn’t so funny. Not when it involves our small business. Not when it involves the roof over your head and food on your table.
One of the biggest threats to your business isn’t the scams you are looking out for. It’s not the Nigerian Princes, Irish Lottery or £175 to spend at Tesco that you see all the time.
The biggest threat to your business is the genuine people. The real-life business owners who are working so hard to keep their small business going and are caring enough to share the information they pick up so that it helps you and your business.
Genuine people sharing information that makes sense and sounds official.
This is what I am talking about. Here’s an image that has been circulating heavily recently of a completely mis-understood feature. Even the top experts in social media Social Media Examiner got this wrong when it first came out.
You see the Show in News Feed feature is automatically ticked for all fans. The only reason it wouldn’t be is if they had actively chosen not to see your posts without unliking you. 99% of the time this is because of pages making too many spammy posts. Panic over! Facebook is NOT trying to hide you from the people who want to see what you have to offer.
Then there is the flaw in sharing this image….
This image appears on the news feed.
The people who can see this post in their news feed check it and find that yes indeed this post is visible on their news feed.
The people who can’t see the post because the button is unchecked don’t know to check it because the image doesn’t show in their news feed.
The only people who get the message are the ones it is irrelevant for. This is as logical as marketing the benefits of eating nuts to people with nut allergies.
This isn’t the only Facebook myth going around
Again it’s genuine people sharing what they believe to be genuine information. Trying to keep their businesses going and help others along the way. The problem is without due diligence this incorrect message spreads like wildfire and the interpretation changes.
This has been further fuelled by Facebook’s psychological marketing techniques of presenting the buy button right next to a page owners biggest fear: Fans aren’t seeing posts by the page.
If you are on top of your marketing then you will be familiar with Facebooks ‘Insights’ analytic system and know that there really hasn’t been any change to the amount of people seeing posts* so there’s nothing to panic about.
*One thing I simply must add is on the 22nd June 2012, Facebook altered the way they show reach in order to ‘present a more accurate figure’. Conveniently it means stats will drop from the days before this change and Facebook hopes people will then panic and pay to promote their Facebook posts.
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