5 Things You DON’T Need to Know About Facebook

by on May 17, 2013 · 3 comments

Facebook Marketing Strategy

No, this isn’t a list of irrelevant facts. It’s a list of stuff that simply wastes your time.

They say just 20% of knowledge drives 80% of results. But for Facebook, it’s more like 5% and 95%.

It’s hard trying to keep up all the time. Believe me, I know. So, take it from me, a guy who’s spent 100 hours a week for the past 6 years on Facebook – researching, testing, learning.

I’ll save you some time.


It’s just a bunch of voodoo. Facebook has literally said there’s no such thing as EdgeRank, and we have every reason to trust them. You don’t need to understand any abstruse formulas or buy software to calculate your rank.

Breathe in and relax; it’s one less thing to worry about.

What is important, however, is that you create engaging content and create it often. Facebook’s product management team describes the ideal strategy as “many lightweight touches over time.”

Building Your Own Facebook Apps

Do you work for Zynga or another company that specializes in building Facebook games? If you do, you can ignore what I’m about to say. If you don’t, listen up.

Ignore FQL, the open graph, and the various APIs. For you, FQL is the same thing as FML. All levity aside, still ignore it.

There are so many off-the-shelf, dollar-a-day apps out there. You really don’t need to build your own unless you’re a very big company.

The Latest Buzz

But what about Facebook home, the updated News Feed, graph search, PTAT, gizmo-this and feature-that?

Just focus on traffic and conversion. Does it drive more people to my website or store? Will it cause more people to buy? If not, fugghettaboutit.

Self-Proclaimed Gurus, Experts, Masters, or Grand Poo-Bahs

Check out their Facebook page. Do they have at least 3,000 fans and 300 active users? Or, is it a ghost town?

You wouldn’t take weight loss advice from a fat person, so don’t take social media advice from someone whose only friend is Tom.

Just talk to people with proven results. Besides, you can get their advice free with this trick.

Content From Anyone Who Cold Calls You

Honestly, I think it’s pretty funny how many unemployed consultants want us to hire them to do our marketing. I get half a dozen unsolicited pitches a day from people desperate to work, promising they can get us more work.

See the irony?

In the world of Facebook, results are easy to measure. But if you do need to hire someone, use this to weed out the imposters.

Okay, So What Do I Need to Know?

The Facebook fundamentals won’t change for a while, despite the daily “noise” we always hear. Don’t get sucked in. Remember all the Google nonsense over the past 14 years? It’ll repeat itself on Facebook.

Your Facebook audience, your email audience, your website audience – they’re merging. And it’s happening because:

  • You can upload your email list to Facebook and message them there, as well as use Facebook to collect emails.
  • Google Analytics tracks where your visitors come from and what content works best, no matter where you post it. 2 birds with 1 stone.
  • You have to drive traffic with Facebook ads (60 minute set-up steps here), but retarget them on Google.
  • People are connecting to your digital properties with their Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn accounts – you see the “sign in with Facebook” buttons all over the web, right?

Now you’re thinking about Facebook differently. You’re seeing it as a word-of-mouth platform that links your customers together across all your properties.

It’s like the electric company. And you have to pay your utility bill.

When you create good content around a solid product or service, your customers just do your marketing for you.

And if you do a horrible job creating content, or if your product or service is lame, no amount of Facebook magic will fix it.

So, really, nothing’s changed, except that we have another way to connect with the same customer base we’ve had all along.

Trust your instincts. Think about the kind of marketing that works best in the real world, and resist being distracted by every shiny object you see along the way.

Then you can focus on what you do best – selling real estate, making WordPress sites, baking croissants, or whatever.

It’s better than wrestling with the latest arcane terminology consultants like me put out!

I hope this gives you a perspective on Facebook that will last you for years, so you can safely ignore most of the hype.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below if you think of something else we can ignore on Facebook.

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Dennis Yu has helped brands grow and measure their Facebook presence. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Web 2.0, The American Marketing Association, PubCon, Conversational Commerce Conference, Pacific Conferences, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, UltraLight Startups, MIVA Merchant, and other venues. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. His educational background is Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.

Dennis has written 2 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek Carroll May 18, 2013 at 3:14 am

Thanks Dennis, It’s true – there’s nothing worse than getting sucked into the “bright shiny object” syndrome, be it with Google or Facebook. You can waste precious time and energy for NOTHING!!
I’m really glad that Don let you share this with us 🙂


Dennis Yu May 18, 2013 at 9:35 am

Derek– thanks for sharing.
What have you noticed about Facebook engagement with your clients in Ireland?


Siegfried May 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

one thought: having tons of facebook fans doesnt mean anything at all as it can be faked

good info, thanks for sharing!


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