It’s back to school time and I’m not sure if kids are writing about what they did on summer vacation any more. Largely because they already told those stories on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. But I’d like to share what I learned on my Facebook vacation.
Er…make that vacation from Facebook. Since I spend so much of my time advising clients about Social Media — some who still won’t buy into it — I decided to step back.
A big step back. I decided to de-activate my account, so there would be no temptation (yes, de-activate is the official Facebook word for shutting down your account. It allows you to re-activate without loss of everything you’ve been posting for years. If you don’t want to go back to Facebook, you delete your account – so there’s no fear of what happens to your information.) My experience reinforced much of what I knew, but here’s my top 5 insights, after being MIA — which may apply to brands and consumers alike:
1. All your “friends” fit Facebook user profiles. To me, there are roughly 6 user profiles:
a. Addict: on constantly via phone, computer, etc.
b. Night Trains: Have to check their Facebook pages each evening and often post into the wee hours
c. Sneak Peeks: Try to catch a minute to see what’s new at work, at home – but never really follow anything in-depth
d. Weekend Warriors: Catch up on everything over the weekend
e. Small Circle of Friends: Don’t have a lot of Facebook friends, so are committed to them. May not be on often, but know what’s going on
f. Don’t Leave Me Out: People who don’t want to be on Facebook, but have an account that they barely check, just to say they’re on
Addicts, Night Trains, Weekend Warriors and Small Circles are the folks who notice you’re not on Facebook. The rest have no clue you de-activated.
2. Influencers truly are important. Yes, the people you really follow on Facebook are your influencers. You care what they think about and are doing. They’re the people who are important to brands, for good reason. I missed who influences me. Those I influence missed me.
3. Facebook etiquette should be revisited. This occurred to me when I returned. Some posts were jarring after time away. Some people have lost perspective of how their posts affect their reputations. I’m going to remind myself to screen my content. I’m afraid the Presidential election is going to bring some of people to new lows.
4. We should all be reminded to take security measures. So many people sign up for Facebook and never think twice about how safe it is. I tout security, but trust my “friends” to post wisely. Some haven’t. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I decided to step back. I wasn’t sure I wanted the added layer of some of the security steps, but decided it’s worth it.
5. It’s still all about relationships. Whether it’s your cousin, friend, work colleague, favorite brand — Facebook is all about maintaining relationships. It’s my easiest way to track friends all over the world. Whatever your Facebook style – stay in touch with your network!