Keeping Up with the Joneses via Facebook

A few years ago I noticed that several of my neighbors owned an ice-chipping tool I didn’t have. I wouldn’t call myself a “Keeping Up with the Joneses” kind of person, but I just had to have one of those tools. It looked like a paint scraper on the end of a broomstick, and could be wielded like a long chisel to pop sidewalk-ice loose. It may not float everyone’s boat, but I’m an Arizona transplant to Wisconsin, so it damn sure floated mine.


Consider that my driveway annually develops an ice dam thick as a Kardashian, and you’ll understand why I went on a hunt for said tool. But not knowing its proper name was a bit of a problem. Calling the hardware store and asking if they carry those ice-breaker-chisel-on-a-stick doodad proved fruitless. Even a Google search failed me. Eventually, the winter turned to spring, and I gave up on my quest. More accurately, I put it in a holding pattern in my subconscious.

A couple of winters later, I randomly spotted one of these tools in a local sundries store, and my wanting came rushing right back. Sure, it looked completely unspectacular hanging there in a corner by the winter hats and bags of salt. So unspectacular, in fact, that had I not seen my neighbors using said tool, I might not have known what it was and certainly would never have given it a second look in the store. Nor would I have gladly spent $25 on it. But I did.

Why am I telling you this? My ice-scraper story works as decent allegory for businesses who just aren’t sure Facebook is worth it anymore. It’s a simple reminder that the same old social drivers—such as what the Joneses are using to clean up their ice, and how many times the neighbor sees them doing it—really do burrow into people’s brains and have lasting influence over their buying behavior. Facebook is maybe the world’s biggest venue for those drivers. It’s the virtual neighborhood, a place where everyone’s keeping an eye on what everyone else has and is doing these days. As such, it’s where you can burrow into people’s consciousness and poise yourself for future transactions (which may or may not come to you directly through Facebook).

Getting into people’s News Feeds consciousness, hearts, and minds is best done when you show up with a social rather promotional spirit. That’s a skill that requires killer content-harvesting and content-creation. By doing it right, you’ll soon be a force in the ‘hood: getting your rand onto people’s radars and, by extension, into the consciousness of their friends and their friends’ friends. When any one of them develops a need for what you’re offering, you’ll already have a head start and a leg up.