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Direct & Integrated Marketing Roundtable

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seriously, You Can't Blame Facebook!

Ok guys. I am really tired of all the stories popping up these past couple of days trying to dog poor Facebook because of our inability to prove the value of this vast platform from a marketing perspective. Yes, maybe Facebook needs to add a consulting arm to help marketers maximize the benefits of what they have to offer like Google does for paid search (and I am sure they will in due time), but that doesn't mean we can blame them for our lack of marketing strategy.



Let's get real. Facebook is a new platform for most marketers. Many are still trying to figure out how it fits into their existing marketing strategy, and many are not doing a great job at it. Many still think Facebook marketing is a job for interns or a part-time gig for the programmer.

Here is the lowdown: Facebook is not a channel. It is a medium. The primary goal of any company should be to use it to aide the brands efforts in increasing brand awareness, highlighting and supporting programming, enhancing advertising, etc. This must be done in such a way as to build the brands fan base and extend reach as far as possible. Once built, the brand can promote special deals, contests, etc. within this community that are aimed at exciting that base and keeping them wanting more. But you cannot do the latter alone.

Your Facebook efforts must also be coordinated with existing marketing programs. For a company to think utilizing Facebook is about having a part-time employee post things like "I Love Chevy" on any given day or add a picture of a Vintage Camaro is missing the point. And missing a great opportunity.

When deciding to create a Facebook page, there are questions that must be addressed or your efforts will fail. These must be kept in mind at all times:
  1. Why would someone like my brand, what is in it for them?
  2. Why would someone continue to be a fan down the road, why would they stay a fan? 
  3. What can I do to turn a fan into an advocate? 
Facebook is a platform that you use to wrap around all your other marketing efforts to help enhance their success. If done correctly, you can create a community that will thrive and will begin to take care of itself, much like Sephora (with corporate assistance of course).

Regarding advertising on Facebook: Someone released a study today of all days saying 44% of people would never click on a Facebook ad  ( www.emarketingandcommerce.com ).  Please realize that I can cite another study from 2009 based on real, not surveyed data that says 84% of people would never click on a Google banner ad (www.econsultancy.com ).

Yes, the click-through rates for Facebook ads are about half that of Google. But when you think about how precisely a company can target its Google ads, that is actually not too bad. You may have to test a bit harder to get your desired results on Facebook. So what.  Think of the potential!  A good marketer is not afraid of that.  Also, do not forget exposure is a good thing. Studies abound that show the benefits of brand exposure, and now tools are becoming available which will will allow us to properly assess the true social value:


I cannot image you do not agree with me on this.

Perry

2 comments:

  1. Nice post, Perry. I must admit, I am typically one of the main detractors of Facebook. There are a lot of things that Facebook does that I am not a fan of.

    However, I agree that Facebook is a new platform that most marketers (most people for that matter) don't really understand. The best thing about Facebook, as you mentioned is the ability to create, monitor and enhance communities. It's a tool no marketer should overlook.

    I don't see display ads being the boon they once were perceived to be. Facebook will have to get very creative to continue to grow with the people who use the platform/medium, especially on mobile (you know where all the data is pointing on that issue!)

    My concerns with Facebook always seem to come back to all the data the company consumes. Combine that with the fact they will have a lot of hungry investors potentially dictating the direction of the company and-well you can see where I'm going.

    There are so many ways to creatively use Facebook as an effective tool it continuously surprises me that brands/businesses/individuals continue to miss those opportunities.

    The biggest challenges for Facebook going forward as I see it are:

    1) How to deal with mobile

    2) Privacy concerns (is open always better?)

    3) How will going public affect decision making?

    4) What is Facebook's place in the web eco-system going forward?

    All key issues that will likely determine how the company does going forward.

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  2. Facebook or myspace is a foundation that you use to cover around all your other promotion initiatives to help improve their achievements.

    AllenCarlos

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