For me, Facebook is a way to make personal connections. To stay in touch with old friends, make new friends, to be entertained, amused and interact intimately on emotional levels. For this and other reasons, I don't "like" many businesses on Facebook. The ones I do like are smaller, independent companies whose products or services I want to keep tabs on, and those that tend to have more to gain than loss by injecting a little personality into their posts.
But what about traditionally stuffy businesses like, say, my bank? Do they even have a Facebook page? (clickety-click) Hmm, it appears they do. And what kind of posts are they making? Let's see…they're hiring tellers at one branch, pimping their loan rates, identity protection…zzzzzz. I suppose these are helpful, potentially useful bits of information. But they read as if they've been run through PR filters and CEO sieves, removing every ounce of humor, personality and, worst of all, individuality. My bank's posts could be on ANY bank's Facebook page.
Why is this important? IS it important? I don't know. I'm one person. One customer. But I respond positively, emotionally even, to businesses that take risks by attempting to humanize themselves in social media. Those that don't insult my intelligence by overestimating my sensitivities. Those that choose not to characterize their customer base as bland, just-the-facts reactionaries teetering on the edge of offense and alienation.
The best business Facebook pages are the ones that know how to balance seriousness, sensitivity and responsibility while employing a unique voice that takes intelligent risks. I'd be willing to wager that the likes you gain will far outweigh the ones you lose. Ten steps forward and one step back are nine steps in the right direction.
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