I often talk to clients who ask about how they can tap facebook for enterprise value. I sometimes get the impression that they feel facebook participants are just hanging out itching for the opportunity to interact with them. All they need is permission to build a corporate facebook profile.
This is the point where I give them the harsh reality saying, “Just ’cause they’re there, doesn’t mean they care.” The truth is they don’t care. In fact, they care very much, in general, that you don’t interact with them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a facebook profile. I’m saying don’t expect much when you do.
If you want to be successful with facebook you must capture their attention in a way they will appreciate. This is often with humor or games that represent the frivolity of facebook that is sometimes disparaged by corporate leadership.
I spoke with a Christian-based non-profit about building a Jesus IQ facebook application to capture attention by giving facebook users a little test on how well they know the life of Jesus. This application, if done right, just might go viral spreading between religious minded friends.
A few days ago I spoke with Staples about their IShredU facebook application. If a friend posts a picture of you that you don’t appreciate, you can use the IShredU application to virtually shred the picture in front of their eyes in jovial defiance. It is this type of fun and frivolity that can work in capturing attention. IShredU is a small part of Staples overall social media strategy which starts with incorporating the social Web into their mass communications efforts as a stepping stone to a social media mass collaboration capability. They currently have 75,000 downloads which, though not mind blowing, is very respectable when considering that shredders aren’t very “sexy.” A critical part of their effort is setting proper expectations. This is a brand propagation effort and is not expected to generate hard leads or directly impact sales. It inherits all the fuzzy business value justification as any other brand recognition initiative.
I’d love to hear any other stories on successfully capturing the attention of social Web participants. What’s yours?
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