Let me rephrase that: never take any advice literary. No one is in your exact situation, so other people’s advice doesn’t always apply. Furthermore, most people usually don’t fully understand their own situation and the reasons for their own successes and failures. Life and everything is just one big guessing game with far too many variables to call.But what does that have to do with you running your Facebook Page or whatever you are doing online? Well, I hope none of us feel like we know everything and many of us are looking for advice online on how to do things better or how to adapt to new circumstances. The fact that you’re reading this, gives me courage that you are one of those people knowing how to learn from other people’s successes and failures. This is great and the benefits are immense. But like all good things, this requires moderation as well.
Don’t worship your information sources!
When you look at the social-media-related blogosphere, you’ll notice that there are a lot of things that people are treating as 100% right and 100% wrong. You should do this and not do that. When you read those blog posts, it sounds almost as if there is a sure-fire recipe that guarantees you results. I know it’s really tempting to believe (and write) that, but you can’t. Life simply doesn’t work that way. There are things that might work for most people, at most times, for now. And as something as volatile as Facebook, this is as certain as you can get.
So what is my advice here? Take everything people tell you you should do with your Facebook Page with a pinch of salt.
Not all Facebook Pages are created equal and they are as original of snowflakes as our own selves. So before you start following a formula that someone wrote down for you too read for free on the internet, take the time to learn about your own Page. And what your Page really is is the sum of the people that like it. And they are all different. What works for some, might not work for others.
Let me give you an example that might actually earn its own post in the future. A very common piece of advice people get is to make sure they post at the time when most of their fans are online. It’s an approach that gives consistent results for most. But as counterintuitive as it may sound, there are situations when this doesn’t hold up to be true. Some Page Managers (or Admins) have found that if they post at “quieter” times for their Pages, they actually get a bit of a boost to their engagement. There might be a number of reasons for that to be true and the black box of The Holy Facebook Algorithm might never let us know what the real cause of such exceptions might be, but the important reality that we need to face is that this is sometimes the case. It might be lower competition, it might be a lot of engaged fans coming from exotic time zones shifting the picture, it might be something else I don’t have the imagination to come up with. But the moral of the story is clear – advice cannot be universal.
This is when your fans are online, but is it the best time to post?
Knowing that little piece information we can all easily come to the conclusion that we are better off always testing alternatives and always checking if the advice we’ve followed is producing the best results. Sure, a lot of the times things we do inspired from others will work, most of the time they are going to make no real difference and sometimes they are actually going to damage our Page’s reach, reputation or growth. And when they do, we need to be open to the idea that not advice might be suitable to us, and we should be ready to give up the loved-by-many strategy and experiment with things until we find the strategy that works for our unique selves and our unique Facebook Pages.
I’ll be happy to hear what advice you’ve read on the internet has helped your Facebook Pages and what advice hasn’t really gotten the results you were hoping for – please share in the comments below!