Facebook is becoming a key platform for brands to connect with loyal customers, influencers, early adopters and fans. It’s a cost effective way for even the smallest of small businesses to promote their services and connect with new customers. It’s also a great forum to learn what your customers are interested in and motivated by, and it’s an absolutely incredible tool to share knowledge and expertise to help position yourself as a “go to” person in your industry.
There’s not much that can beat “social proof” as a means of gaining the trust of your network. That being said, with any new technology or social landscape, there’s a learning curve. Figuring out how to use the technology is one thing, but social media is, well, social! And that means that along with the technical learning curve, there’s also a social etiquette learning curve.

Your customer’s Facebook page is sort of like their living-room during a cocktail party where they’ve invited all their friends to share stories about their lives, pictures of their latest holiday or children, recipes and so forth. Now imagine that one of the guests at this intimate social gathering has had too much to drink, is talking too loud, turning up the music, and drowning out all other conversation by loudly boasting about the size of his [car, trophy, bankroll, friend-list, IPO]. Now imagine if all they had to do was flick a switch to eject this obnoxious guest out into the street. That’s all it takes to “Unlike” a brand on Facebook.

I created this chart in good fun (though the stats are accurate as of February 2011). When using Facebook to connect with your customers, don’t forget it’s a conversation. If you have lots of news, try to space it out over time. And don’t forget to ask questions! Social media should be a conversation, not a lecture. For most people, anything over 3 updates in a day from a brand is too much, and your loyal fan might just hit the eject button.

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