Welcome (back) to Source Blogger.
Sometimes you just feel compelled to write the truth. A lot of what we do as bloggers involves marketing… internet marketing, social media marketing, etc. Sometimes I’m taken back at all of the “Marketing Experts” I come across online.
It appears that social media is a booming business for people who seem to have exhausted the SEO market. It’s a hip, new product to sell. And the best part is, it’s another medium where results are difficult to track and the finger gets to be pointed at who is managing the social media campaign on the company level as opposed to how it was created…or more importantly, why it was created. (OK, so maybe I won’t be the most popular blogger in the blogosphere after this article…*shrugs*)
Today, we’re going to look at Facebook and what it means for your business. Source Blogger is not primarily a blog on social media, but I do encourage you to read the Facebook category here on Source Blogger.
Why does your company need a Facebook Fan Page anyway?
Most likely you use Facebook. As do most of the people at church, your kid’s school and your investment club. Facebook is a great way to connect with old friends, classmates, even old co-workers.
So, you heard about this guy who claims to have success with helping businesses push their brand, create an online identity, and establish a more interactive way for followers to interact with your business. Perhaps you want this feedback from web users.
The social media marketing pitch about Facebook
So, all the company’s decision-makers file into a little conference room and this is the “push”…
350 Million Global Users and Counting
100 Million U.S. Users
Average Facebook User Spends 55 Minutes Per Day
Average Facebook User Has 130 Friends
Average Facebook User “Fans” 2 Pages per Month
After a few meetings…followed by a few more meeting with the social media company…and of course, a few more meetings, the decision is made to move forward.
You decided to buy the entire package! Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia…and yes, Facebook, as the primary target! (After hearing all those stats, why wouldn’t you be excited about Facebook, right?)
What the social media company didn’t tell you about Facebook
1) Facebook is a fortress — We’re all aware of the user stats for Facebook. Here, take a look: These are the stats that Facebook makes public for all of us to read. It’s not a secret.
“The reality is even the full-time bloggers and “internet marketing gurus” have problems creating value from their Facebook Fan pages…so, as a business, without our type of background, how are you going to overcome our challenges?”
2) The psychology behind Facebook use — Facebook users are very loyal to their personal social networks — unlike Twitter, where a lot of the discussion is with people you have never met or never plan to meet. Most Twitter accounts are set up so that I can follow someone automatically — unlike Facebook where I have to ask permission. Because of this, there has to be some personal recognition.
On Twitter, there’s often a natural reciprocation of “you follow me, I’ll follow you.” Remember what the social media company said in its presentation…that the average Facebook user has 130 friends? It’s not that difficult to have 5,000 to 10,000 followers on Twitter after a few years…with some effort…and automation.
“The bottom line here is exposure. Facebook insulates its users from pervasive advertising, internet marketers, and maybe even us bloggers! So, how is your company going to overcome those challenges?”
3) Facebook is not a “buying environment” — Meaning you can spend an average of an hour a day on Facebook (remember, the average Facebook user is on for 55 minutes a day) and not feel inclined to buy ANYTHING.
Facebook is not eBay, Amazon, Overstock.com…or even the For Sale section of CraigsList — meaning the user is trained to either play games, look at photo albums, share links of YouTube videos, or chat.
“Facebook users are not in “consumer mode” when they log in. What does that mean for your business? Are you personally going to change the mindset of 300 million Facebook users with your little Facebook Fan Page?”
What following/ “fan”-ing / subscribing to something in the social media world really means
It just means there is a mild interest in you, your blog, your company, your brand, your product, your concept, etc.
Many web users who interact with your direct and indirect pagers, you will never see or hear from them again. The internet is constantly in motion with people changing their profiles, user IDs, even buying new computers. It’s very difficult to remember your web use from day to day. Plus, what you felt strongly about yesterday, may not be such a priority to you today.
So, I ask you, what is the true value to your business to those that ‘fan” your Facebook page? Do you think it might be a little overrated?
4) Consumer Reaction+ Sharing Opinion — We all love feedback. We all like to be able to gauge our progress. We all need to know “the score”.
But, on the internet, those that are typically the most vocal are those who are frustrated, angry, and generally despondent. You want to create a social, interactive environment on your Facebook Fan Page, but the results could be extremely counter-productive. It’s really no different than what we do as bloggers, to screen/monitor the comments on our own blog for something offensive, hostile, or mean-spirited.
What if one Facebook comment turns off the current environment of contributors of your Facebook page? Are you prepared to deal with that? What if you receive some bad press? Do you really want to answer for it from your social media pages? You could be exposing more negative aspects about your company than positive ones!
5) Content + Search + Geography
The ugly truth about social media is that you can create a campaign, but you can’t guarantee its success. Why? Because online users are driven by content. Content that you must continually churn out — just like a blogger. You can’t compete with us!
Note: Although many of us favor capitalism to a certain extent, we don’t trust you. And we know, in the end, what motivates you, what your agenda is, and what you’ll do to reach your goals. Your content is an extension of you. And consumers are becoming less and less trusting of this propaganda. We’re also becoming more immuned and more suspicious of feeble attempts to network to us. So, what is your plan?
If you are a business services company in my community, ask yourself…
- Why the hell would I even want to be on your Facebook Fan Page?
- What could you possibly be saying that I would find interesting or even remotely engaging?
- Why would I want to return — what’s the benefit to me?
- The internet is doubling every 5 weeks… how am I even going to find you in search? And why would I be looking for you there as opposed to simply using the online Yellow Pages?
I live outside of Philadelphia, and your business is Kentucky. I found your page by accident. How are you going to overcome the geographical challenges of targeting consumers in your operating region? And what benefit is it to you that someone from India just “Fan’d” your page an hour ago? I’ll tell you: “Nothing!”
Save yourself the time and money required to commit to your own social campaigns. I’d even make the argument against having a company website for many businesses.
You are smart enough to get to where you are in life. And you have gotten there based on results. Sure, the potential is there with social media, but realistically the results will be be extremely disappointing and not worth your investment. Results that SEO and Social Media will never truly be able to guarantee. And definitely not worth the big price tag.
If you truly want to some type of social integration, bring on a few young, interns. There, I just saved you thousands. And you deserved the truth.
My name is Jeffrey Baril. And this is Source Blogger.