The what, who, when, where & why of Facebook

Facebook is easily the most controversial major social network. Seemingly constant changes to Facebook's user interface, its functionality, and the algorithm that controls what we all see have led marketers and users alike to feel nearly constant frustration with the service.

So, if it’s so bad, why do we keep logging in? What keeps us coming back to this Web site that inspires such frustration?

Our friends. Our business. Our interests.

Yes - even if we see each of them less and less. The thing is, I doubt we'd like it if the algorithm wasn't prioritizing our newsfeed. And Facebook is still the largest and most-used social network on the Internet, which makes it relevant and important to your business.

What is Facebook?

Believe it or not, I meet people regularly who don't have Facebook accounts. They have their reasons, but if you're not on Facebook yet, it's hard to know what you're missing. Facebook is the quintessential social network. It started out as a two-way connection - reciprocity required. I send you a friend request, you accept or don't accept. One choice means I have access to your content and you have access to mine. Declining my request means we don't. 

"Friendship" is still the primary focus of the network, though they have since added Pages, Groups, Interest Lists, and Followers - all of which are not reciprocal connections.

Who should use Facebook?

From a personal perspective, I think that anyone who wants to connect with other people can get value out of Facebook. The idea that social media makes us less social doesn't have to be the reality - and it isn't for most. From a business or entity perspective, Facebook is a valuable marketing tool. There are over 1.3 billion active accounts on Facebook. It would be a rare business that can't find its audience in a pool of people that size.

When (and how) should I post?

Post at least daily, but not too often. The frequency your audience will respond to is potentially different from my audience and likely based on what kind of business you run. Media outlets can get away with posting numerous articles every day. A small business might post only once per day. For the majority of businesses, a maximum of 2-4 times a day is a good guideline. Facebook users will “unlike” your page if you annoy them. I know I have.

Be sure to share a mix of content - status updates, links, videos, photos - so that you get a better idea of what works best. The algorithm changes, so maintaining a mix ensures you won't get caught up in some of the silly (and fleeting) trends that don't work in the first place. 

Where should you post?

Over the years, Facebook has done a lot of work to improve its mobile app - from splitting out Messenger and Groups to improve loading time, to adding more and more of the browser app's functionality, such as editing, comment replies, and more. The list of actions you can only do in the web browser is getting shorter and shorter all the time. So, where should you post? Pretty much wherever you want.

Why should you be on Facebook?

I really like Facebook. The potential for collaboration, connection, information consumption are all pretty much endless. I've created and found support networks, small and large, through Facebook. I use Groups for my work with Lara on WWC, as well as part of the delivery of our programs. A lot of the issues people have with Facebook tend to be rooted in unrealistic expectations. Your audience has never all been guaranteed to see your content - not in newspapers, on television, on your website, on Twitter, or any other medium that you contribute to - not even when Facebook didn't have ads was 100% your audience guaranteed to see your content.

Developing a presence on Facebook can bring good things in the form of better relationships personally and professionally. It can also have an impact on the bottom line for businesses. However, no one should have a presence unless it makes sense to achieve business goals and they have the resources to be consistent. 

What would you add to the 5 Ws of Facebook?

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending March 9

Over the week we go through a lot of content - news and blog posts, how tos and conceptual posts on the state of the internet.  Every Sunday we share some of our favourites with you.

Check out the links and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you read any great posts this week!


I’m back and had a great time on my first real family vacation! Karen did a great job making sure you all still got great content to check out while I was gone! :)

Sesame Street is the first non-profit to hit 1 billion views on YouTube. I can’t say I’m surprised - theirs is one of the few channels I subscribe to and watch not only with my kids but on my own on a regular basis.  So much fun content! I love how they celebrated the milestone! (Here’s another one of my favourites)

When I think about the future of technology I can’t believe what people expect to be on it’s way down the pipeline. (via Twist Image)

Facebook advertising can be a tricky thing, but also a really good thing. Amy Porterfield is an amazing resource for all things Facebook and I especially find her Facebook ad information very informative.  This week she shared 7 tips on Facebook ads.


There are some who believe so strongly in creating evergreen content that they have started to exclude the date from the posts on their website. I’m gonna go with Adam Singer on this and say it’s not a good idea. (Future Buzz)

I couldn’t help but laugh at the title of this one: Is the Harlem Shake Stupid? (Social Fresh) I don’t think the answer to that question is hard. I am so tired of this meme and I don’t want to see it anymore, but Jason Keath makes some really interesting points that businesses can use going forward.

It was a week of big changes. In the case of Google+, the changes are enormous (ReadWrite). But let’s be honest - there really isn’t a huge number of people who care about the changes Google+ made. It’s the changes to Facebook Newsfeed that are the really big news of this week. We’re going to write about the newsfeed announcement this week, but Jon Loomer’s overview will give you a good idea of what’s coming.

Speaking of Facebook - it’s a common practice that people ask for a like or a share. Sometimes, it’s easier to simply design your content to be appropriate for one or the other. This is what is meant by that vague instruction to “be engaging”. 

The most obvious number that shows up in Facebook Metrics is reach. Unfortunately, its value is definitely up for debate. Check out what Danny Brown has to say about reach. I think it’s worth considering.

The Media Mesh

What you might have missed this week on the Media Mesh:

Anna Belanger conquers Facebook

Back to basics: three steps to using LinkedIn more effectively

Being successful as a woman in business

App of the Week

This one is web-based, so it’s operating system agnostic. And I think it’s my latest favourite website. It’s called Content Idea Generator and I think it’s brilliant. Even if it doesn’t work precisely, I love that I can come up with ideas faster thanks to the push this nifty little tool gives me.

Leave us a comment and tell us what some of your favourite reads were this week!

Facebook: interest lists are great but they don't ensure people see everything you say

The latest Facebook update that is being shared tells you that only 10% of the people who like your page see what you’re saying and that you can solve the problem by adding pages to your interest lists.

1) It’s true - most of your fans don’t see what you’re saying. The only way to see everything that a page posts is to go to their page and read it there.

2) The more people engage with a page the more likely they are to see what you’re saying in the future. The more compelling the content, and the more often you ask for response, the more likely you are to get engagement.

3) Although Facebook interest lists do show up in your main newsfeed, nothing about adding a page to one will guarantee that you see everything they say.  They are meant to be a way to focus on a specific topic or grouping, but still  scroll through quickly and you would have to purposely visit the list regularly if you didn’t want to miss anything.

We know it’s frustrating to think that people don’t see everything that you say on Facebook just because they liked your page. Think of it like an ad on tv or the radio, if you don’t happen to be on when that information comes through, you could very well miss it.

The best solution is to post frequently (at least daily, preferably more like 3-4 times spread out throughout the day), to make sure you are posting information that is of interest to your audience, and to create opportunities for engagement.

Let’s give each other ideas on what works best. Leave a comment below telling us what kind of posts get the most engagement on your page?