Yesterday I was driving home when a high school friend buzzed up on his motorcycle at 70 mph. I recognized him by his BACA logo (careful link has a loud sound on the BACA website) on the windscreen and the handlebar mustache. We waved and mimed some communications.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Good. How are you?”

“Great… I’m getting married.”

“I know! Congrats.”

He only knew because of Facebook. And while we don’t “interact” much, we do see and notice each other’s posts. He’s huge into this anti child abuse biker gang, working out really early in the morning, and Hopdotties hamburgers. He knows I’m into music, social media, and my fiance. But we haven’t exchanged wall posts or comments in over a year. And while we don’t talk at all, or see each other that much, I was always looking at all the biker dudes to see if it was my friend. And yesterday IT WAS and IT WAS THRILLING.

So, do you have any idea how broad your influence on Facebook is? While 10% of the people using Facebook generate 80% of the content you like and share, the other 90% of people are reading something. And if they’ve liked or commented on something you wrote, you’re probably getting into their news feed on a regular basis.

It occurred to me, that my influence is a lot broader than I understand. Simply because people are not commenting or liking your posts (they are lurking) doesn’t mean they are not being influenced by you. And I’m not talking about marketing/sales influence, I’m talking about social influence. And again, probably not politics, but I’d have to say I don’t see ANY pro-Trump posts in my feed.

Facebook is getting better at editing the content to suit my tastes. And they are trying really hard to bring advertising to my feed that interests me as well. But I’m using several plugins to limit Facebook’s access to my demographic data and preferences. So what Facebook has is my “connections.” They know a lot more about what YOU like than what I like. And if you LIKE it and you are my “friend” then they assume I might like it. One of Facebook’s most powerful advertising channels is “show this to friends of friends of mine.” That begins to build a pretty targeted group.

So even though I shut down most of Facebook’s tracking capability, and I don’t see too many people liking or sharing my posts, I do understand (better now) that people are reading Facebook. More than they are reading my blogs or my books. Facebook is where I go to get community. And it’s the best we’ve got. (Got ello anyone? Didn’t think so.)

Rock on, FB on, and give a LIKE or a SHARE every now and then so I know you’re out there being influenced. (grin)

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2016/09/facebook-influence-may-go-think/

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image: my friend on his bike, creative commons usage

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