Every company needs a facebook page. Apparently. That’s what they tell you at publishing conference. So a year ago I sat up the Peirene facebook page and posted each new book review up on the wall. By August we had 93 followers. In December we had 93 followers. End of February we still had 93 followers. And to be utterly honest, 60 of those 93 were my own personal facebook friends.
The problem with a company facebook page is obvious. You can’t send out friend requests. You just have to sit and wait until someone comes and likes you. Or that’s at least what I thought. And whenever I clicked on other publishers sites I felt reassured. Most of them have a minute number of likers in comparison to their company size. Moreover, their figures stagnate just like Peirene’s. I concluded that facebook is just not made for publishers.
But the Nymph was unhappy.
“Your heart is not in our facebook page,” she’d whine every now and again.
“No, of course not” I’d fire back. “I really have better things to do than worry about facebook. We have a page, I try to update it as often as possible, if people want to find us they can. Voila, job done. Nothing else I can do. It’s out of my control.”
“Well, I feel a bit ashamed for you,” she replied calmly. “We’ve just won the IPG award with special reference to our modern marketing and you’re now telling me you can’t be bothered about social networking. I think we should give the award back.”
That stung and she had me where she wanted. For months I had hoped that our page would miraculously develop a momentum of its own, that someone would come and discover it and then spread the word. It didn’t happen. Because there was nothing to discover. It was a dead boring site. And even if the site had been as sparkling as a princess, sitting sulkily in a lonely facebook corner does not persuade a prince to fall on his knee.
I decided to address the issue. We sorted out our welcome page, Maddy is running some ads and I am paying more attention to the content. News, reviews, quizzes and features in words, pictures and films. An online Peirene Magazine.
Over the last six weeks we have gained an average of 5-10 followers a day. We are now up to 540. An increase of 400% in the last month and a half.
Peirene is still unhappy though. But now for a different reason.
“You’ve become a total facebook nerd,” she is complaining. “It’s sad to watch how happy five new likers can make you. And ten new daily likers seem to send you over the moon.”
She is right. I never would have guessed what bliss and joy facebook has in store for me. Already I can’t wait to organise an extra special giveaway quiz when we have hit a 1000 likers. It will be a wonderful day.
Image by birgerking.