A Couple of Facebook Myths

June 26, 2008

Occasionally some of my good LinkedIn friends will speak about how Facebook is too informal for them, PLUS it’s full of pimply-faced teeny boppers.

Many of them say they will never set up a Facebook account because it’s just not “professional” enough for their taste.

Of course, I make it a point to help them understand that a lot of what they’re thinking are nothing more than myths and non-factual beliefs they have regarding Facebook.

I’m not much of a off-the-cuff debater. I like to dig up the facts and use them for persuasive purposes. So, I went on a fact-finding mission for info that could help support my argument. It turns out I really didn’t have to go very far to find my answers.

It turns out that when you have a Facebook Fan Page, you’re provided with a few demographic insight regarding your Fan Page membership. With this info in mind, I went to check stats at my Social Media Marketing Network Fan Page.

Here’s what I found;

Total Members – 1,520

Gender: Males – 60% (912); Female – 40% (608)

Age Range

Female

Male

 

13 – 17

0%

0%

0%

18 – 24

2% (30)

4% (61)

6% (91)

25 – 34

9% (137)

14% (213)

23% (350)

35 – 44

14% (213)

20% (304)

34% (517)

45+

16% (243)

22% (334)

37% (577)

 

Well, well, well… the proofs in the pudding, as they say. I’m not sure what the overall demographics of Facebook looks like. But I can affirmatively say that the members on my Fan Page don’t fit some of the common myths around Facebook.

Here’s my most surprising discovery: The largest segment of my Fan Page membership is age 45+ at 37%. And the next biggest group, age 35 – 44, comprises 34% of my group.

Supposedly, a huge portion of Facebook members is in the 18 – 24 age bracket. I wonder why I don’t have only 91 from that group. Maybe they’re like my 19yo daughter and just don’t want to be connected to the “older crowd.” LOL  But that’s OK. J

Now, the other surprising discovery is that there are far more men (912) in the group than there are women (608). I thought women were more ‘social-natured’ than us men. Where are the women???

What’s the deal – is it my cologne or what? Most likely not. It could be because there simply are more men doing business online than women.

What are your thoughts on why the data is what it is regarding my Social Media Marketing Network Fan Page  – (1) teeny boppers are vast minority and (2) males significantly outnumber females.

Cheers!

Jim

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How Many Facebook Friends are Enough?

June 21, 2008

A couple of days ago, I crossed the 4,000 “friend” watermark on my Facebook profile. I casually mentioned this in a recent update to my Social Media Marketing Network Fan Page members. This sparked a question from my Social Networking friend, Warren Whitlock regarding large social networks vs. smaller ones.

Below is the conversation we started with each other, which we later decided we should take it public and let others chime in. So, here’s the conversation:

————— Conversation begins ———————

Hi Jim

Congratulations on reaching that milestone.

Have you found that having more friends that you don’t know has helped in your promotions?

Are you able to reach out to them as a group? Individually?

I’m looking for best practices to teach busy professionals, and services and training to recommend. Seems a lot of the training is focused on a race to big numbers, not profits.

Your thoughts?

Warren

***************

Hi Warren,

A lot of your approach to community/network building depends upon your game plan. For example, McDonalds is a mass marketer. They’d like for every pair of lips on earth to engulf a Big Mac everyday.

Some of your more niche restaurants may not have that goal. Maybe they’re looking for people who want to dine for the prestige of having dined at their restaurant and are willing to pay 300 bucks for dinner for 2 people.

Getting back to online marketing – it just makes sense to me that you’d want to service as many folks as possible because the tools are there to do it. So you pull the more interested ones together in a FB group or Fan page and you message them with quality content at a reasonable frequency… all along you’re establishing your brand. And when the folks in the group need help they come to you or you can service them proactively by producing info products for them to buy.

I’ll be blogging more on these different marketing approaches real soon.

Cheers!
~jim

***************

Hi Jim,

Here’s 2 cents more…

Group of fans are NOT FB friends.

McDonalds wants to reach billions, but they don’t phone each one.

I think there are a lot of people building friends list just for the sake of increasing their counts. A zillion on a fan page or group is just fine, but do they all have to be friends?

I see the same thing on LinkedIN. Every new employee at Pierpoint Recruiting is told to go get a buck of “connected people” and so I get invites.

I’m an open networker, I don’t mind from that perspective.. but I have to ask.. is it really possible that a JR recruiter will develop a real relationship with me? Even if I meet them and like them (maybe we went to the same school), there is no chance that I will employee people, tell others to take a job.. in fact, I bash employment every chance I get.

My point is.. it’s okay to get 1,000,000 friends if you can handle it, but I question whether these people have any intention of doing anything other than “getting the count”

Warren

—— end ———-

Now it’s your turn… what are your thoughts… large vs. small friend network… why and why not. Please comment below.

Thanks in advance.

Jim Turner


“Your Account Has Been DISABLED!”

June 3, 2008

As Social Media Marketing Networkers, those are some of the most dreaded words you could possibly hear. Several of my good friends have received those notices lately. And to be straight up honest with you, it’s getting me very concerned.

By no stretch of anyone’s imagination am I a passive community builder. I don’t offend and annoy people with my approach. I simply send a very short and compelling message to targeted prospects letting them know how they will benefit from connecting with me. They can either accept or reject my invitation. It’s their decision.

A lot of my strategy is borne of the fact that I’m a direct response copywriter by trade. I’m used to getting readers to respond in a positive manner, in the moment, and it’s paid off in helping me to connect with a lot of friends on Facebook (3,600+). And out of those connections have come many true friendships as well as clients for my coaching and writing business.

I rarely let a day go by without approaching 70 to 100 targeted prospects on Facebook with my benefit-rich invitation message to become my friend. And once they become a friend, I contact them again with another benefit-rich, compelling , message inviting them to join my Social Media Marketing Network Fan page.

BUT, I’m getting more nervous each day when I hear about all the citations being handed out by Facebook. Am I doing something uniquely different than others or am I just lucky? Maybe I had better slow down while I’m ahead. 😉

Part of me believes that there is a method to the madness, meaning you can be proactive in your friending strategy without losing your Facebook privileges.

Here are a few steps I believe you can try that might help you avoid Facebook’s message of doom while expanding your network:

  1. DON’T send too many messages in a short time span. Don’t ask me how many is “too many” and in what time span, because I really don’t know. There are people that have been penalized for sending far fewer messages than I do. Facebook doesn’t want you to know the magic number because everyone would ‘play’ right up to that point before stopping their activities.
  2. DON’T trying to break any speed records. You know what happens if you get caught speeding on the freeway. Well, Facebook is no different. They’re worse. They’ll take your Facebook driver’s license and disable your account. Slow down. Send your invitations throughout the day rather than in one session.
  3. DON’T send invitations without a personalized message. When you send invitations without personalization it’s easy to go too fast. Plus, it lowers your acceptance rate.
  4. DON’T use a 100% cut ‘n paste technique. Yep, it saves time, but it can also get you in trouble. The Facebook radar can zoom in on such activity real quick. You really need to provide some variation to each message in order to avoid this pitfall.

There have been times when I’ve commented on someone’s pet they were holding; congratulated them on the baby they were admiring in their picture; handed out compliments on a person’s hair style or a piece of clothing they were wearing. I remember a time when I complimented a lady on her dress (in a respectable manner) and it turned into a two-day exchange of emails.

I don’t’ know what your experience has been in trying to build your Facebook connections, but if you know of any tips that work, and just as importantly, some that can get you in trouble, please post them in the comment section below.

Cheers!

Jim Turner