Do you know that Facebook users are one of your best customers and subject matter experts to profile? They are a variety of diverse experiences with an amazing breadth of knowledge that may not be found in any textbook that you can learn from.
In a related article, “14 Facebook User’s Personas to Note When Marketing and Advertising” talks about different types of users that are on Facebook today and how you and your business can leverage them in your marketing plan. This article expands on this by including possible lessons that you can learn from Facebook users.
Here are some lessons you can learn from these Facebook users:
- The Scientist. Independent, analytical, strategic, and determined, this individual has the ability and the desire to turn theories into plans of action. The user type posts anything that promotes novel concepts and theories. This Scientist can serve as your mentor:
- Find the best strategy to implement your ideas. Scientists have insights into the Big Picture. They are always looking for ideas and novel concepts and weighing them against their current strategy.
- Have a contingency plan for your strategy. Do you have a backup plan in case your strategy doesn’t go well or isn’t well received? A contingency plan can help lower your risks.
- Be open to hearing an alternative way of doing something. Like Scientists, you should always consider your alternatives. A trade-off analysis, in most cases, can help you determine which alternative is in your best interest and that of your customers.
- Objectively see the reality of a situation. Think objectively. Evaluate your current situation and realistically set measurable goals.
- The Thinker.Thinkers are logical, creative individuals who live in the world of theoretical possibilities, passionately analyzing challenging problems and identifying patterns. Consider them the “absent-minded professors” who have a knack for applying logic to theories to find solutions to problems. You will find posts and updates that reflect this uncanny ability. Here are some wisdoms that they may bestow on you:
- Value knowledge. Have a learning mindset. You’ll see results because you’re driven to want to do things better. A learning mindset allows you to want to get consistently better at your craft.
- Think logically. Do not base your decision on personal subjectivity or feelings. Address or solve your problems by seeking logical explanations.
- Be a pioneer of new thoughts. Great inventions can result. Solutions are created with a simple thought that when worked at can result in innovation. It has to start from somewhere, right?
- The Doer.Doers are results-oriented. They thrive in a world of action. They can sell anyone on any idea. Their posts give an impression that they live in the here and now. They’re always posting what they’re doing at the moment. You won’t find indication on their updates or posts that they’re bored and simply thinking about doing something. You can learn the following lessons from them:
- Take actions. Results happen when you’re doing something instead of just sitting around and thinking about it.
- Be proactive. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Be willing to plunge right into things. Take risks.
- The Visionary.These individuals are most likely entrepreneurs or executive leaders with a clear vision and a plan to execute. They have their own company page on Facebook. They live in a world of possibilities. Check out any Facebook page from great leaders and you may find that the advise they may give will be to:
- Be an idea person. See possibilities everywhere. Get enthusiastic about your ideas and spread that enthusiasm to others. Not only do they post their ideas but they generate interests with their enthusiasm. They get others to see their visions and may prompt them to take action.
- Improvise. When presented with a problem, find a way to improvise by coming up with a creative solution. Check out visionaries’ posts or articles to see how they solve today’s problems.
- Have clear direction and purpose. Posts from visionaries will show that they have a sense of clarity and alignment, vision and focus.
- The Executive.Similar to the Visionaries, these take charge individuals are driven to lead. They understand and breathe the corporate world. They thrive under constant pressures, seeing challenges to surmount. Check out top corporate executives on Facebook and learn from them. You may learn that you need to do the following to survive and thrive in today’s corporate world:
- Scan your environment for potential problems. Where there are problems, there are potential solutions. Identify plans to turn problems around. Realistic executives acknowledge the shifting world economic situation and plan accordingly. Their posts and updates will include articles that they’re reading, sharing, and liking. This suggests that they’re monitoring the economic situation carefully.
- Be in the know-how. These Executives know that there are opportunities in the social media arena. It’s the very reason why they have a very active Facebook account filled with daily updates and feeds.
- Be assertive but not invasive. Successful executives display their self-confidence without being cocky and know how much to push to get what they want. When looking at profiles and posts of these individuals, check for their plans for the future. What are they’re reading or monitoring? What are they’re sharing? Who are they following? Who are following them? What actions are they taking and why?
- See the big picture. Like the Scientist type, these financially responsible Executives are leaders who can and do see the big picture. They believe in the future. They don’t let the current economic crisis to prevent them from seeing opportunities.
- The Mechanic. Mechanics are interested in how and why things work. They excel at finding solutions to practical problems. They have adventuresome spirit and their posts and updates suggest that they’re passionate about motorcycles, sky diving, and other adrenaline-filled activities. They’re interested in the mechanics of a product such as airplanes, cars, technological devices, etc.
- Take things apart. To understand how things work and see the way they work, take things apart. This helps to perfect your logical analysis. In the business, corporate world, you need to understand why things work and don’t work in order to create a workable solution. Think and act like a Mechanic in everything you do. It’s all about practical application.
- Focus on the details. Quick, effective decisions require a good grasp of the details and a sense of expediency.
- The Publicist.Check out any company’s Facebook page, you’ll find a publicist who promotes their business through a variety of means such as invitations to events, special promotions and discounts for either liking their page or purchasing their products, opinion polls to engage their followers, contests to generate interests and obtain new followers, etc. In the age of social media, Publicists are no longer in the traditional field of public relations. They can be just about anyone who is representing their business, cause, and efforts. Think of Publicists as people-focused and company-focused marketers. Pick a few companies that are on Facebook and see for yourself. You’ll discover these lessons to apply to your company’s Facebook page:
- Have people skills. When you have excellent people skills, you can make people do exactly what you want them to do. You’re representing your company. How you act, behave, and interact with others is a reflection on your company. With the right people skills, you can bring the best in others. People will listen because they sense your interest in serving others.
- Be human. When you see everything from the human angle, you’ll likely attract people to your page. Turn a new visitor into a returning follower by being human with your words, your contents. It’s natural for people to feel like they are being understood.
- Do not overwhelm people with ads or over promote. People do not like to be bombarded with constant sell pitches or unsolicited offers on their walls or on your page. It’s a turn-off. Remember the original intent of Facebook. It was made for people, not businesses. People connect to get updates from friends. Don’t invade their personal turf when you’re launching your campaigns. Always keep the original intent of Facebook in mind.
- Promote with tact and diplomacy. Facebook Fan pages have become fans of businesses, instead of just fans of celebrities. Use it wisely. Know how to promote. It’s about user’s experience. Check out those business pages that are doing it right. They’re the ones that are generating a lot of talks, having devoted followers, and focusing on people.
- The Crusader/Activist. It’s natural for people to be fans of pages that support special causes, especially those that are dear to their heart. Take a page from crusaders and activists and learn how they promote. To help improve your marketability, check out those fundraising pages or socially responsible company pages and learn from them some of the right things they do:
- Be socially responsible. People want to associate with a company that they know is socially responsible. Show them that you and your company care. Show them your socially responsibility initiatives by sharing articles, videos, events, etc., including those that demonstrate your support and sponsorship of worthy causes.
- Like a page. Support others’ causes by liking their page. This shows that you also care about causes that others support. Participate in those causes if you can.
- Ask for volunteers and/or donations. If you have a Facebook page dedicated to a special cause, check out other pages to see how they’re asking for volunteers and donations and the types of responses they’re getting.
- Throw a fundraiser event. Many organizations are offering a percentage of the sales to a cause. Some are giving a portion, if not the entire proceeds, to a charity. If you’re throwing a fundraiser event, make sure to put that on your page. It’s one of the best self promotions there is.
- The Campaigner.Similar to the crusader/activist above, the Campaigners are great at creating a campaign that entice customers and followers. They are experts in their field. Check out any existing campaigns that companies are promoting and actively asking Facebook users to participate. The results can lead to great sales, recognition, and new customers. Take for instance, Vitamin Water’s 2009 campaign on Facebook where they asked users to help them choose the next flavor of drink. It worked. Users participated. Why not? When you have campaign backing from basketball player Steve Nash and rapper 50 Cent, people will take notice. Aside from this, people like to participate in activities where they’re given a chance to help a company come up with a product or idea. Here are some takeaways worthy of emulating:
- Ask for participation. Customers love to have a say in your product. They like to be heard. Most of all, they like to share in the experience and help shape the future of your product. It doesn’t matter what type of product or service you’re offering. You’ll generate a lot of buzz by asking them their opinions.
- Get endorsements. If you can, get support from major players in any industry. People like supporters who they recognize as role models, celebrities, household names, etc.
- Give giveaways. Everyone like freebies and discounts. Successful campaigns recognize these incentive-based deals.
- Offer free samples. Starbucks recently (July 13) gave away free 12 fl. ounce of their Refreshers. How do I know? I saw their ad on the right panel of my Facebook wall. I also saw on my newsfeed from my network of friends. I’m sure those who are fan of Starbucks’ page also got notified on their wall.
- Have ads promoting your offers. Every user has ads on the right panel of their homepage. It’s a great way to promote your business and generate sales. Starbucks use it to promote their new Refresher drinks.
The point here is that users recognized these types of campaigns too and are sharing them not only on Facebook, but also on other social networking sites as well as off-line conversations, text messages, and emails.
- The Lurker. Be informed. Be a lurker. Why not? You’ll learn so much by simply lurking around Facebook. Lessons are everywhere. Anyone of the Facebook users mentioned here can teach you many things to apply to your business. Find those Facebook users that fit with your goals and business and determine and apply their best practices.
What user persona do you have in your network that you and your business can learn from? What pages do you like that show promising social media campaign strategies? What have been your experiences with Facebook users? I’d like to hear your thoughts.