Does the Creative Industry ‘Like’ Facebook?

(originally published in Screen Magazine 5/23/12)

Facebook’s recent IPO has got me to thinking… Does Facebook have anything to offer the creative industry? I know the ad industry has jumped into the Facebook game; I saw a clever McDonald’s ad the other day. I didn’t click on it, but it made me think about getting a Big Mac, and that psychological temptation came true this afternoon. A Big Mac and fries called to me. I chased it down with an old fashioned McDonald’s hot fudge sundae.

But I digress, just because McDonald’s takes advantage of the social network, does that mean that the vendors who seek their business should as well?

I refer to Facebook as a type of maintenance marketing for the creative industry.

Just like getting your oil changed in your car, it’s important to post updates (from your company FB page) every other day. Consider these posts to be very brief press releases. Most of the folks reading this column have been sharing their company news for many years now, so this may not appear to be life-altering information. At least I hope it isn’t. But, where some shops fall short is using Facebook to offer up a little bit of your corporate personality.

Of course, this is only my opinion, but I think clients may choose to work with you because they like you. Help these clients “like” you by branding your shop with simple Facebook posts.

I see great examples of this everyday. Utopic is one creative facility that seems to be doing the Facebook thing right in my opinion. The updates coming out of there are funny, professional, creative, and resourceful. When reading Utopic’s posts, I can’t help but think that these same characteristics carry over to the staff and speak of their over-all talent.

Other shops choose only to post recent project information on Facebook. Again, I think that kind of an update is very important, but ultimately not enough.

This next paragraph might rub some people the wrong way, but since I’m on topic of the utilizing a company Facebook page, let me make one quick suggestion for personal pages as well (as it relates to good business); take a look at the friends you have on Facebook and count how many you consider clients, work colleagues, or professional contacts. Keep that number of friends in mind when writing your personal posts.

Understand that people who can engage in your services can read everything that you put up on Facebook, so a slight hint of professionalism, or at least common decency, is not a bad thing.

I also like to see senior staff members post about the company they work for every once and a while. Many corporations ask highly visible employees to champion the cause of their employer on Facebook. I agree with this whole-heartedly. I know someone who has a key role in Chicago’s creative community. He loves his job, and is very good at it. But you would never know this by reading his Facebook posts. This person has a hobby that he obviously is very passionate about, which is great. But the absence of work-related topics, suggest to me that his day job is just that. Again, I’m not suggesting that everyone should be all business all the time, or that each Facebook post should have marketing spin. But when you hold a key position at a company, keep in mind that at some level you are reflecting your employer’s brand and personality.

I’ll get off my high horse now.

A Facebook strategy has to be considered when discussing your company’s marketing plan. It’s a great (free) tool for building your brand. So keep up to date with your maintenance marketing, and share your corporate personality with the world.

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