Mad Skillz: Maddie on how to use Facebook well

Maddie is my sister. She’s like, the best Facebooker I know. Here are her tips. You should listen to her because since last Mad Skillz her surname has changed to “Smart”.

Dear Readers,

Last year my Mad Skill(z) was telling you all how to write a good Mad Skillz post. I’m sure this blog’s editor in chief will manage to put a link to it here (if not I take no responsibility). I trust you will all take that advice on board before you submit your own skill this year. I will now share with you another skill I have. That is the skill of using facebook well. How do I qualify you ask? Well, I use Facebook a lot. I would say i check it once every 45 minutes on average, often before sleeping and after waking.

1. If you are a company make sure it makes sense to have Facebook. For example, if your business is selling anti-technology books it does not make sense for you to be on Facebook. If you do not need to contact your customer base often, or if you sell something no one really wants (maybe you are a funeral parlour) I don’t believe you belong on Facebook.

2. Question why you are on facebook. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to build a relationship with your customers (contact them, invite them to comment on your wall)? Do you want your customers to build relationships with each other (image the PA that would get – two cadbury ‘likers’ find love)? Do you just want to let customers know about existing/new products/events? Do you want to boost sales (offer discounts)? Do you want people to fill in surveys for you (offer free product samples like Nivea did). Make sure you do what you are there to do. Don’t just be annoying by not doing step 3…

3. Know when enough is enough. Just because I have ‘liked’ your company page does not mean I want you to fill my news feed with updates. I say limit yourself to one a day at the absolute maximum. I know i know, ‘one a day’ you say, ‘that is not enough because I need to tell everyone how excited I am about my product/company/pet fan page and people must love hearing from me all the time because they’ve gone to the effort to like my page’. WRONG. People may like you, but that has hardly taken any effort on their part, maybe 30 seconds. 30 seconds of their life does not give you a license to pollute their news feed. Now, even if you are only updating once a day you better be offering something good (discounts/sales/competitions) not something boring (pictures of employees, pictures of your products, quotes about your product, annoying questions about if it is ok to drink urine – here’s looking at you B105). You might think you’re interesting and that you’re product is amazing, but what you are doing is overkill. People will stop looking if you keep posting things constantly throughout the day. It’s annoying, and it stops your posts being special. Think – “if I had to pay to put this message here would i do it?” . If your answer to that is ‘no’ think about what you are saying – “i would not pay to share this with my customers”. Why wouldn’t you pay? – because “its not worth it”. So, if it is not worth sharing with customers why are you doing it? Just because comments are free doesn’t mean you need to abuse the channel of communication with trash. Keep them minimal, keep them interesting, make sure you are offering something valuable to your likers.

4. For the everyday, individual, non-corporate user – be interesting. Ban yourself from posting statii that start with “I am …insert mundane everyday verb here…”. Only write “i am verb” updates if the verb is something amazing like “sky diving” or “sword swallowing” or “sitting next to Brad Pitt on the plane”. I don’t care if you are brushing your teeth or watching tv, and i’m guessing no one else does either.

5. If you want comments on your latest status update or photo invite people to do so. Give your reader something to respond to or actually ask their opinion. BUT PLEASE do not vague book. It’s so annoying. Most people are not that interested in your life that they will sit there and try and guess what you are talking about when you write things like “something is about to happen to my life that is going to change another thing in my life”. Just tell them what happened in the first place. Leave all your attention seeking vagueness behind. If you want people to notice a photo tag them in it. It works every time, because let’s face it – people on facebook are all slightly self-obsessed and any mention of their name will grab their attention.

I believe this is a fitting image to finish with:


Ben McLaughlin says:

great post! I’m not on FB but I like the sentiment here. Espesh that gear about not being vague. Same goes for blogging- don’t post all cryptic and vague about your life and expect readers to pry out info from you. Because they won’t.