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Why the Words 'Facebook' and 'Help Center' Don't Go Together
By: Christine Geraci
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Here's what I find so funny about the words "Facebook" and "Help Center:" Strung together, these words create an epic oxymoron.
 
As you may or may not have heard, Facebook has redesigned its online help center in an attempt to provide users a more streamlined and efficient way to find out what they need to know as quickly as possible. This is certainly a step in the right direction. 
 
But think about some of the key concepts people and organizations weave into their strategies for building their presences on Facebook. For me, here's what comes to mind: Real people. Conversations. Responsiveness.
 
Real people start Facebook conversations — not logos, or concepts. It's important to at least show the audience that someone is behind the company logo or brand name spitting conversation starters into the newsfeeds of willing participants.
 
Conversations are absolutely paramount to success on Facebook. You could have the greatest piece of content in the world, but if for some reason no one gives it so much as a like, it will fade into the background and eventually disappear. If you don't know or understand your audience, then you can't give them content that will get them talking — and thus get you noticed. 
 
To that end, responsiveness is absolutely essential to conversation. If someone asks you a question or takes the time to make a thoughtful comment, you should be responding to them. Even if it's just to say "thank you," or "we don't know the answer right now, but we're looking into it." And you should be responding to them in a timely manner. 
 
Go to the community forums in the Facebook help center. What do you see? A lot of questions. Who answers them? Users. That's nice, but...
 
Does Facebook as an entity ever answer these questions? Not that I've ever seen. Does Facebook as an entity even participate in the conversation? Again, not that I've ever seen. 
 
We rack our brains, strategizing to win the exposure game presented by Facebook's Edgerank algorithm. Does Facebook have to actually talk to people? Nope. Respond to questions? Negatory. 
 
But I guess when you're Facebook, you can sit back and laugh at these ironies. 


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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