New Facebook “Like” pages demonstrate content is difference maker

This week I had the chance to upgrade one of the Facebook Like pages I manage to the new template.   I have a few others I have yet to upgrade, but it was really easy and the new look is a nice improvement.  It brings photos to the front, and the central “notes” section has always been easy to update.  I prefer to update automatically by sending an RSS feed, like with Super Simple Social Media’s Facebook Page, but the other options are as easy.

What occurred to me is that within a week any business or organization that wants to upgrade to the new template can.  Some would argue that the fact that all of these pages are the same is a problem.  It’s not, because content is what differentiates.  The places the pictures and text show up may be the same, but the quality of that content is different and that is where social media is a difference maker for small business and non-profit organizations.

Facebook has provided a great framework.  Customers aren’t looking for small businesses and non-profits to have the latest greatest web technology.  They will find you on the web via Facebook or a blog and what they are looking for is content.  It is a crime that some organizations are held up from creating a web presence because they don’t know how to build a website.  The truth is through blogs like this or a tool like a Facebook like page you can claim a space on the web that with a little nudge your stakeholders will interact with – if the content is meaningful.

What makes meaningful content?  I’ll write a lot more about that later, but start by asking your customers.  If you are a church maybe it is directions and the schedule for the week.  If you are a small business maybe it is customer reviews or references.  If you are a non-profit maybe it is pictures of a recent outreach or clients that you help.

An hour or two a week and these tools can make a tremendous difference – focus on the content – don’t let the technology stand in your way.



The tri-fold brochure of this decade

I was thinking the other day that a website is the tri-fold brochure of this decade.  It is like when I was a marketing director in the late 90’s and everybody was running around thinking they needed a tri-fold brochure.  Today, everyone is running around thinking they need a website.  However, a website without a strategy for how to promote it is kind of like those tri-fold brochures that cost too much, often looked a little amateurish, and sat collecting dust while more savvy communicators were actually finding ways to connect with their audiences.

I’m not sure every business and small organization needs a website, particularly if that website is going to sit on a server somewhere and wait for it to be discovered.   Blogs, twitter feeds, facebook pages all of these can be employed without a website and connect with audiences in effective ways. 

The problem in many cases is that there is something comforting about the tri-fold brochure approach.  It is tangible, and since everyone else has one it gives us something to check off when a boss or a client asks what we are doing to promote the business.   The problem is that it doesn’t get results.