As part of a consulting job* I recently got, I’ve been building Facebook pages and acquiring friends left and right… but at a snail’s pace. When I made my action plan for this organization I figured that I could easily request 15 friends a day and have maybe 1/3 of those people agree to join our group.
While it is easy to request 15 friends each day this takes a lot more time than I thought it would. In part this is a blessing and a curse of Facebook– on one hand I can search by city and by job and/or interest. Great. What happens though is that I now have a lot of information so I have to actually read each profile and guess intuit if they’d be a likely supporter. I am getting close to meeting my goal, around four new friends each day, but instead of being able to do this in 45 min it takes at least an hour and a half.
I’ve also been working on converting the organization’s friends into fans of the particular campaign we’re working on. For reasons I don’t quite understand, it is a lot easier to get people to agree to “friend” us than it is to get them to become fans of our campaign. There are some serious drawbacks to this– it is easier to e-mail blast fans than all your friends. Plus, it’d be nice to ensure that there is some movement to our online petition from the Facebook page.
While I know, and frequently tell my bosses, that online campaigns take time to hit their “tipping point,” I do worry that in a week we’re still sitting pretty with 7 “fans.” Personal outreach online takes *almost* as much time as personal outreach in person. It is just that instead of knocking on doors I’m filling up Facebook in-boxes.
In a way, this is a great first online advocacy job. The organization I’m working with had almost no online presence before my work, so they are pretty happy with whatever I’ve been able to do. At the same time, I have high standards and the online/Facebook campaigns that I most admire are a lot more successful than the one I’m slowly setting up.