Remember ‘poking’ on Facebook? What was that all about? More importantly, can you still do it?
I started asking myself these questions when I discovered that today is International Poke Day. Sadly, further reading has revealed that the ‘poke’ being celebrated today is actually pronounced ‘poh-kay’, and is a Hawaiian dish consisting of raw fish and condiments. Still, these theme days are open to interpretation and wordplay, and when it comes to using a hashtag, pronunciation doesn’t matter a great deal.
So, what was ‘poking’?
If you’re a relative newcomer to Facebook, or are too young to remember its early years, you might have missed out on the whole ‘poking’ phenomenon.
Over time, Facebook has become a place for sharing news, and some would argue it has taken on the role of being a publisher. However, its roots lie in helping friends to communicate and tell each other what they’re up to. Initially, every status update posted on Facebook had to begin with “[Your name] is”, so the site wasn’t well set-up for simply sharing an article like many users do now. You would have to say something grammatically awkward and contrived like “John is wanting you to read this article”.
When Facebook began to grow massively in the mid-to-late ‘00s, a lot of emphasis was placed on how many ‘friends’ you had, and casual chatting while on the site was commonplace. The ‘poke’ was basically just a way to get other Facebook users’ attention, send them a notification and say “I’m online”.
The social element of Facebook is still there, of course, but as the site has developed into a news platform and powerful business tool, the idea of ‘poking’ has seemed a little pointless and dated. As such, Facebook has taken the option off your profile and hidden it from clear sight.
You can still do it, though!
So, how do you ‘poke’ on Facebook?
If you want to ‘poke’ someone, just follow the below steps:
- In the main search box on Facebook, type in ‘pokes’
- Select the first result you see, which should be ‘Pokes’ and will invite you to “poke your friends and see who has poked you”
- When you click it, you should then see a list of ‘Suggested Pokes’ and a ‘Poke’ button next to each name, complete with a picture of a poking finger. If your intended ‘pokee’ is not on the list, you can search for them among your friends.
The first person Facebook is suggesting I should ‘poke’ is my mother-in-law. I think I’ll pass!
Why ‘poke’ someone?
In 2020, I suppose the main reason to ‘poke’ a friend on Facebook is for nostalgia. Maybe you and a Facebook user regularly used to ‘poke’ one another back in the day, so what better day than today to ‘poke’ for old times’ sake?
Perhaps if you have business contacts on Facebook and you’re waiting for a response from them, one novel way to get their attention could be to give them a ‘poke’. This will drop them a notification, which you’re probably best following up with a message.
With some imagination, almost all theme days can be used for social media marketing, and we have a Facebook Marketing Community group you can join. Here, we regularly share ideas on how all businesses can make use of novelty days, so it’s well worth ‘poking’ your nose into!