Infographic Friday: Are You a Good Friend on Facebook?

With more than a billion users, Facebook is many things: A messaging service for keeping up with friends and family. A place to share photos and funny videos. A way to reach out to old flames and former classmates.

For businesses, though, it can also be a minefield: Misunderstand how and why people use the site and you can easily find yourself ignored, dis-”liked” and blocked from future contact. As this infographic from Lab42 suggests, the key is to know what your fans want from you on Facebook and, more importantly, what they don’t.

Facebook brands like unfriend

Ultimately, it’s all about the value you bring to the relationship. It’s not surprising, perhaps, that 87% of users have “liked” a brand on the site — it only takes a click, after all, and nearly half (46%) of those who do so have no intention to become customers — but the real takeaway may be that almost three-quarters of users (73%) have also unfriended a brand.

The No. 1 reason? Posting too frequently. That sentiment is echoed in a report from Exact Target, which provides additional reasons, including boring content, overly promotional posts, posts that weren’t relevant from the start and not enough deals.

All of which should provide a pretty good roadmap on how to engage people on the site. Be judicious in what you post, be generous with deals and special offers, and be cognizant that posting too often is intrusive and socially unacceptable.

Ultimately, it’s not about “likes” at all, but rather, building relationships that are beneficial to both parties, an easily overlooked distinction that underscores the challenges of marketing any business in these overly busy, digitally driven times. As Bruce McColl, chief marketing officer for the Mars candy company, says:

Most of us go through life finding it hard enough to have a good relationship with the real people in our life, let alone all the brands we buy.

You don’t want to give them a reason to call it off.

 

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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