Facebook Updates are a Lesson in Managing Expectations

So Facebook have rolled out another tranche of updates.  Cue the whinging.

The fact is that people are like the Tory party: they don’t react well to change.  It doesn’t matter if change brings improvement; familiarity makes things easy.  People hate the unfamiliar because it means they have to learn to do New Things (*gasp*).

But this reaction is predictable.  So when YOU need to change something (for example when you want a new website) you should plan for this predictability.

Want to Re-Design Your Site?  First Question: Do You Have a Loyal Visitor Base?

Check your analytics.  If you have a large proportion of returning visitors you would be wise to consult them before you embark on a re-design.
Conduct a survey.  Ask them:

  • What do they like about the current site?
  • What do they dislike about the current site?
  • What features/designs/structure would make their lives easier?

Asking your visitors what they want will give them a sense of ownership and will reduce the likelihood of a negative reaction when the site is launched.

Sell the Changes Like you Would Sell a School Trip to a Child

Children can find school trips really exciting or really boring.  It is the build up to the trip and can make it a success or a failure.  Capture the children’s interest early and you are onto a winner.

So tell you visitors about the new features you will be adding.  Build it up.  Tell them why you are making these changes.

Providing news and rationales will go a long way to managing expectations.  Use your blog, newsletter and social media channels to communicate these things.
As always with marketing: good planning and research will win the day.

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