Talking about social media has become so mundane. People almost instantly shut down their receptors when they see yet another article numbering the ways you can make it work for your brand, your business, your job… Do some of these sound familiar? “5 ways social media could be hurting your job” or “5 ways social media will change your job in 2013”, “5 Ways social media can ruin your reputation.” I could go on.
It’s interesting to note that the topics almost always carry two totally different points of view — it’s like we’ve become bipolar about it. Is it good, and is it bad? I say it’s great.
The same rules that apply to most things in life also apply to social media: don’t over analyse anything, make the best of what’s out there and don’t take it too seriously.
If however I were to continue delivering social media services to clients and use it for myself, I do wish that some changes could become reality in the near future. Facebook is massive, but there’s always room for improvement in my opinion.
I have a dream for Facebook and it doesn’t come in five neat points, so to spice it up a bit, here is my Facebook marketing/social wish list:
1. Make Facebook resemble a blog
I am passionate about blogging. I like the way you can customize what your blog should look like, how images always come out the way you want it to when you upload them and how it looks: crisp, clean and easy to navigate. I know Facebook is not meant to be a blog, but the way we are using Facebook today in comparison to when it launched six years ago, it kind of makes a lot of sense. I struggle to gain many followers on Tumblr, which carries the same name and content (well some of it) as my Facebook page, which is doing great, and most of the people who like it aren’t even friends of mine.
2. Refresh the look and feel
There’s nothing more annoying when you find a great photo to post to your Facebook page, when done uploading you notice half the image has been cut off or looks blurry (this by the way never happens on my blog). I wish Facebook would figure out a way to make images look better on people’s pages and timelines. It will also save time on editing.
Most social media professionals still do most of their reporting manually, and some help comes from great tools such as SproutSocial. But it would make so much sense if all the info (interactions from fans, etc.) could be legibly exported. I’ve tried exporting straight from Facebook, and the Excel sheet you get is a massive eye sore, and I avoid it like the plague.
3. Fix those trust issues
I wish clients we run Facebook pages for would have a little bit more faith in our work and not always worry about content plans. Facebook and especially Twitter is instant, social, and if you know what you’re doing, have good taste and good judgment, the chances of failing are slim.
4. Make it easier to customise your page
If you have a blog you would know that there are endless ways to customize it. The way one can arrange photos, choose different fonts and so on. Of course Facebook is a brand of its own, and one would have to customize in such a way as to keep the Facebook “look”. It would open a lot of room for creativity if adapting a Facebook page a little bit more to the brand’s image.
5. Let us look up insights older than 30 days
If you want to track and report on your page’s growth properly you need insights and statistics from when you launched it until your present time. But sadly, if you’ve had your page for lets say a year or more, those insights are only kept on Facebook for 30 days. So, agonizingly, one needs to keep every single insight on record or else risk losing all that precious information.
6. Change the competition rules
It would be awesome if Facebook could let a bit of its hair down when it comes to competitions. Of course there are droves of people undermining these rules, but better safe than sorry. It would be cool if it were legal to do competition entries through comments. You can’t just ask people to comment or answer questions to in order for them to enter, it must be done through a Facebook app. It’s a shame as it takes away a very nice way to create conversation and engagement, as well as a very important viral element.
7. Let us go back and edit after posting
This must be one of the most ridiculous shortcomings when posting on your page. Lets say you have just posted a wonderful image and copy, but forgot to add just a comma, or maybe put in the wrong product name or price, you can’t just quickly click edit and fix the little hiccup, but delete the post and do it all over again. Enough said.
8. Let people preview posts
This is also annoying, and the reason why it’s a must to have a fake Facebook account to test posts on before putting them live on the real page. Imagine one could preview posts then there would be no need for fake Facebook accounts, saving time going back and forth between the two. A very simple feature, but unfortunately not a reality yet.
Lets see, I have eight wishes, I’m sure that’s less predictable than 5… and with all of the above said, Facebook is an amazing tool for businesses to gain exposure and true loyalty from fans. These are all just a handful of suggestions to make the whole Facebook marketing experience easier and less time-consuming. I would like to know what other social media professionals think and what changes they would like to see in the near future.
Author | Talita Calitz
Talita studied Journalism and Visual Communication at the University of Pretoria. Travelled a bit, worked here and there and now resides in Cape Town where she’s the Communications Manager for BOS Brands (BOS Ice Tea). More