“Forget about the number of fans or “likes” your organization’s Facebook page has. It’s what the organization is doing to keep those fans engaged that is important, especially if those fans comprise the “Millennials” – individuals who are 18 to 29 years old.”

That’s a quote from a great new piece of research from Dr. Tina McCorkindale, an assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication, who has been doing a bunch of poking around into the habits of Millenial Facebook and social media consumers. You can link to the article here, but the key paragraph is right here:

“With so many companies spending so much time and money on social media, we need to understand not only social media tools but the strategies of how to use it,” McCorkindale said. They found that while 75 percent said they had “liked” a profit or non-profit organization on Facebook, 69 percent said that once they “liked” the organization, they rarely or never returned to the fan page. Only 15 percent of the respondents said they visited organizations’ fan pages weekly. Most respondents (44 percent) spent less than 30 minutes a day on Facebook…Only 28 percent said they had actively searched for an organization’s page.”

Wow. Shocking! Not really. Getting someone to like your Facebook page is actually pretty easy. Getting them to like what you have to say and absorb the value you claim to be providing enough to come back more than once is an entirely different proposition. First, you actually have to PROVIDE that value, whether it’s superior quality of service, workmanship, price/benefit, design, humor–whatever it is you do–it has to be done well, and with commitment.  Think about it. How many Facebook brand pages provide so much value to you that you HAVE to come back regularly? I can’t really think of more than about three, and they are all musician pages. Now I might be different than you, but I go back because I’m a fan and there is usually something new to consume–a video, more tracks, a question, some tour photos.

Are you providing that to your current or potential customers? If not, how can you expect that they are going to take time out of their amazingly interesting day, search for your page, go look at it, and consume what they have already seen? Guess what, they aren’t. At all. And why should they?

These are TOOLS, people. Like picks and shovels and databases and chainsaws and mobile apps. They only do something if you pick them up and get to work. In the social space, that means connecting, responding, engaging, rewarding, asking questions, providing answers in ways your customers can actually extract some VALUE from.

But you knew this, right?

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