That’s Not What It’s For: Another Facebook Article

Like John Coffey, I couldn’t hep it

Common mistakes that come with the comment “That’s not what that’s for,” are all over the place. When you decide to work on a car and grab a flathead instead of a phillips you hear, “That’s not what that’s for.” When you’re getting ready to brush your teeth, if you were raised in a house that didn’t have much money, and you grab the Arm & Hammer because you’re out of toothpaste, and your kid looks at you like, “WTF?” You hear it then. When you’re in the bed and you slip up and hit the wrong…. okay nevermind, you get the point. That’s Not What It’s For is so common that often no one realizes when this is really the case.
Yesterday an interesting thing happened on Facebook. A conversation was started that generated a ton of likes on seperate Facebook walls. The conversation began with this quote: Clean out your Facebook closet. There are people doing incredible work, but you can’t see it because there is too much garbage on your wall. Also, if someone is doing something that looks like it took time to do, is artistic, is positive, or is thinking out of the box… make a comment. Honestly, you never know how that might help a person throughout that day. Big shout out to all the people pursuing various dreams. 

When something generates a lot of feedback it is called going viral, no explanation neccessary. While this statement was created because I had gone through my Facebook page hiding a lot of people, people that I friended or they had friended me so the initial online relationship was mutual, I began seeing posts by people who were doing some very cool stuff. I mean, singers, actors, photographers, business people, were writing about important ventures they were creating. The problem was, my wall was so cluttered with what I thought of as useless information that I was unable to see the posts that I actually was interested in. Where does That’s Not What It’s For, come into play? After sleeping on it I had an epiphany. I kind of touched on it here Is Facebook Good For Small Biz? I think I need to clarify though.
A few weeks ago I gave my wife something really good… wait for it, wait for it… A Facebook Ad credit of 50 bucks. I was not in a position to use it myself because I had not finished setting up my online store and the NBA lockout was looming so I wasn’t going to be updating my NBA blog. I gave her the credit and her site and her Facebook fan page took off. Her likes jumped from the 200s to over 1K and is still growing. In the article that’s linked I talked about the fact that I advertised on Facebook and spent a comparable 60 dollars on advertising and in a short amount of time the money was gone and the results where underwhelming to say the least. We had two completely different experiences in using Facebook Ads. This created an opportunity for learning though. What does this have to do with That’s Not What It’s For?
Last night I realized that although I said people should clean out their Facebook closets, I was not completely right. As much as I want Facebook to be a tool for small business, that’s not what it’s for. Facebook was created to make Facebook rich. It was created to allow people to interact with people quickly and without worrying about a response, or quick responses. It was created to help people have a voice on certain issues without having to really study the topic or be accurate in their approach.
Facebook is basically a one night stand and while the site does serve a purpose in helping to disseminate information, it is only surface info, in chunks that are often taken out of context. While a lot of very good things are happening there, Facebook is setup in a way that those great things have to be fed by the minute. This means that something that may have taken you 2 years to complete is only given 5 minutes of interest by the constant updates that make Facebook, Facebook.
This morning a good friend of mine suggested that we capitalize on the interest in the post on Facebook and I realized again, that Facebook is only interested in keeping you on Facebook. Think about this: yesterday countless people responded to that post. This means that Facebook generated numerous impressions on the ads that run on the sidebar. Those ads probably also earned clicks. Either way someone who decided to pay for advertisement had their funds depleted because so many people viewed that wall post, that based on whether they set up the ad to run with impressions or clicks, they probably ran out of money and in all honesty people came to read what was being said and probably never saw the ad. So, how do you convert a passionate discussion on Facebook into action? Terrell Jones, a local Memphis designer and an extremely talented guy, founder of Medatsu, started a group on Facebook for Memphis based designers in the fashion industry. I think it’s a fantastic idea. The group is creating a discourse that probably could not happen in any other setting. Great suggestions and information is being shared and possibly implemented. Facebook is in the business of keeping you on Facebook, but it does not want you to leave Facebook. In the words of MLS, well actually Morpheus, “The Matrix is all around you.” This is especially true in regard to Facebook.
When a great conversation is begun, it also ends on Facebook. Starting a group on Facebook has to translate into establishing a network outside of Facebook and eventually praying that the people will move with you from that venue. I was wrong about cleaning out your Facebook closet. Facebook is supposed to be cluttered because that is how Facebook generates revenue. Facebook was not meant to showcase talent although it definitely has the ability to introduce ideas. The thing is though, those ideas have to be clicked on and visited. If a group begins on Facebook they don’t ever create the opportunity to generate their own revenue or create their own small pockets of networking, or do they?