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Guest

The Facebook Dirty Secret

By: Guest | August 11, 2011 | 
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Today’s guest is written by Howie Goldfarb

Twitter or Facebook? Most consumer brands use both now. But what is the difference if you are crafting your strategy related to increasing sales?

Twitter is selling and Facebook is marketing.

Twitter is selling

Selling is finding someone and persuading them to buy your product. On Twitter, I can search, contact, ask questions, overcome objections and close the sale.

I have a mobile gourmet food client in Los Angeles. When she is in a town, I can search for people who say they are there and let these strangers know the most delicious ice cream sandwiches in the world are available nearby. I can send direct messages to our Twitter followers and I can call our brand ambassadors out by name without them having to post or engage us first. I can’t do any of this with a Facebook Fan Page. Twitter is a sales-friendly platform.

Facebook is marketing

Facebook Brand Pages are one of the biggest marketing deceptions in history. You can have millions of fans but you can’t reach most of them. You can’t call people out. You can’t message them. You must wait for them to come to you. It’s much like a big billboard on the freeway; except imagine the billboard goes blank for 45 of 50 cars that drive by. Your challenge is to get them to come by. And you can only talk to them if they come to your page. It’s a lot like sitting in your store and hoping customers will walk in.

But Facebook has a dirty little secret: They want this failure. They never intended Pages to be a success for businesses. Brand Pages must fail! If they didn’t, they would be out of business. They wouldn’t be worth the dumb money being touted.

Why? Because of Facebook Ads!

Ads are their revenue driver. If I could reach all my fans easily why would I buy ads? As long as Brand Pages have less than one percent engagement rates, and as long as there are more than 700 million accounts, brands are going to buy ads. Facebook has no desire to change this. And thus Brand Pages for 99.9 percent of business will never be allowed to drive sales on Facebook (0.1 percent get lucky!). And isn’t advertising part of marketing?

How many of you go to Facebook because it has the brands you love? None of you. And thus brands have to buy ads. And if you want to reach people there, you need to buy ads.

If you disagree try telling me on Facebook and try telling me on Twitter.

Howie Goldfarb is president and CEO of Sky Pulse Media, an agency focused on helping clients achieve outsized results in measurable bottom-line-impacting ways. He had a 14-year career in direct B2B sales before deciding to lighten up his dreary work life and move into advertising.

48 comments
Blane Jackson
Blane Jackson

I've had a bad feeling about Facebook for a long time now, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Something is wrong. I can feel it. I advised everyone who would listen to stay away from the public offering. As it turned out, my fear, at least regarding the offering was well founded. The market also had misgivings, but I suspect for the wrong reasons. The market sees everything in terms of dollars and cents. But Facebook's problems are much deeper than simple lack of revenue.  Facebook sees itself as a "social network." In fact, the hit movie describing it's founder's experience creating it is called "The Social Network." At last count, Facebook was closing in on a billion users and according to "The Anatomy of the Facebook Social Graph" published by researchers at Facebook, Cornell and the University, and available here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1111.4503v1.pdf, the average Facebook user has about 190 "friends." And that's the average. Many have hundreds, even thousands. That's the splinter in my mind. In my experience, I've never met anyone with 190 friends, at least, not by my definition of "friend." A friend is someone with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. Forming friendships requires effort and time. Friends don't come that easy. It's simply not possible to have a bond of mutual affection with 190 people. There isn't enough time in the day to spend the kind of quality time necessary to form that many friendships. Forming friendships is a "high touch" experience and can't be done over a wire. What Facebook describes as a "friend" is, at best, simple an acquaintance. The thousand pound gorilla in the boardroom at Facebook headquarters is the reality that Facebook is not "social" at all, and in fact an argument could be made that it is, in fact antisocial - the time you spend staring at a computer screen is time not spent with real, living friends. Avid Facebook users, the users that actually post stuff to their "walls," spend hours alone staring at their computers. The more "friends" you're connect to, the more time you must spend scanning their posts, answering superficial emails, and glancing at meaningless pictures of someone else's life - even if it's just to delete, erase, or re-tag. When Facebook was conceived, it was exclusive to Harvard students. It was cool, because it was exclusive. Even after it opened to other Ivy League schools it was still exclusive and cool. But as Facebook has opened to include everyone who can "fog the mirror," and even faceless companies that can't, it has become less and less cool. In fact Facebook is now down right common. Also, when Facebook was exclusive, posting information was less problematic. Posting compromising information and photos that only your Harvard buddies can view is far less troublesome than launching personal information into the "wild" of the world. It's like a poker player in the game of life laying his cards on the table for all to see - it can only hurt. Every tech savvy person I know shuns posting anything on Facebook because once it's out, you can never get it back. So to summarize, Facebook is not cool anymore and it can be down right dangerous. Facebook had it's fifteen minutes of fame, but the party is over and no one knows that better than insiders at Facebook. They waited too long to go public and they're paying the price in real dollars now. I admire Mark Zuckerberg and I think he's brilliant. Like many successful products, in retrospect, you wonder why someone else didn't think of Facebook long ago. I'm not saying there's no value in cloud networking, just not where friendship is concerned.  Linkedin.com comes closer to realizing true value in cloud networking. They're focused and "all about" simply making connections, but's that's another blog.

 

www.blanejackson.com

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

Both have pretty numbers and interesting 'stats' - I am still not sold, and use both (differently, I have to say). It depends b/c it will always depend; some local markets may have a much higher adoption rate w/ FB than Twitter, so that's one stat. But if the numbers show the few Tweeters are that much more likely to buy (opt in, give email, etc.) then those are the waters I want to fish. IDK.. I think the big lie is that it's a requirement, a must do and the silver bullet of marketing. It's not; these are tools and part of a much larger strategies. FWIW.

40deuce
40deuce

You make an excellent point @HowieG .

Facebook is more of a marketing tool. Getting people to look at your stuff and hope that it sticks out in their mind when they go somewhere (either physical or online) to make purchases. Twitter however works best when full interaction is involved.

Being of a B2B company myself, I find that Twitter works much better in a business sense. I can talk back and forth with people. Answer questions. Lead them to relevant content in a quick and easy way. In short, I can fully interact with someone which makes leading them to a sale much easier to do (although, I never do the hard sales thing through Twitter). Meanwhile on Facebook I can post things, hope they show up in someone's stream, and then try to get some sort of interaction from them (even just a "like").

The two networks are by no means the same and people need to stop thinking about them as if they are.

Cheers,

Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos ( @40deuce )

jonbuscall
jonbuscall

I think you've made a great distinction here Howie and in a way this articulates one of the frustrations I have with Facebook.

Do you think folks have forgotten to build their email lists because of the emergence of FB Pages? I think the face that you can post to your wall is deceptive because you've got no real indication of how many you're actually reaching. To my mind, email marketing is better in terms of ROI.

That's not to say I don't use FB for some of my clients. It always depends on your goals and target audience.

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@shonali thanks for your tweet haven't had a chance yet to comment on your post today but when I get home I will 8) happy friday!

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

Hi Howie,
Thanks for the interesting perspective. I agree. Some call Facebook fluff, I say it's about building or deepening relationships, not starting new ones. Brands that are successful on Facebook are using it to drive engagement and relationships, but not to focus on sales. Consumers have all been contested out, voted this, that and the other thing. They aren't on FB to be sold to, they're there to show everyone how damn cute their dog is or to see how damn cute your dog is.

John Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald

Nice post. You've been right on the money about FB for a while.

For me, it comes down to this: Twitter is about ideas and information. Facebook is fluff. It looks more like the dying days of AOL to me everyday. Not that FB will go away (AOL's been dead for years and it'll never go away), but it's just not worth all the commotion. I think all small businesses should be on FB, but for the same reason they should be listed in the phone book. Just in case.

tonia_ries
tonia_ries

Howie - did you see the study that comScore + Facebook released recently, looking at the # of overall impressions (in newsfeeds) compared to the % of page fans who might see a post? (we covered it here: http://therealtimereport.com/2011/07/28/facebook-marketing-newsfeed-impressions-matter-more-than-the-number-of-fans/) -- It backs your assertion that most page fans will never see a given piece of content, but then says that there's big incremental payoff from the distribution your post might get to friends of your fans. Given that the study was co-sponsored by Facebook itself, I'd love to hear from anyone who might have outside experience to indicate if this is the case or not.

Jens-Petter Berget
Jens-Petter Berget

Hi Howie,

I completely agree when it comes to Twitter. I've been using it to find people who are nearby and according to what they're talking about. It's easy to target "the right people" and start a conversations - even though Norwegians are not using Twitter like the people in the US.

When it comes to Facebook Pages, I've had an interesting experience during the summer. I work at a college in Norway, and we've been using Facebook to push information to students (and other people who have liked the page). The information have been relevant and highly targeted. So, we get more likes and comments every single day. But not a whole lot is happening. Until about a month ago. Now, our "followers" have taken over the page and they are talking directly to each other, and I don't have to be there at all. The page have become social. It feels like I've created a community.

On the other hand, it's exactly what you said about Facebook being a channel for marketing. We're never selling, at least not one to one, we're "talking", answering questions and doing customer service. And we're visible and there when people need us.

Jens

Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2
Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

Love these distinctions Howie!

You know who's Fan Page kicks some serious ass? Regretsy's - "Where DIY Meets WTF" This woman gets massive feedback to whatever she posts. Same with Hungry Girl. I know Hungy Girl is getting paid, not direct response style from her page, but from leveraging her rabid fan base selling her cook books which led to her getting a TV show.

And even though April's Regretsy site can be awesomely vulgar, she's come up from nothing and attracted enough eyeballs to get the attention of some heavy duty advertisers. Today she's got Citibank and Autotrader side by side with the homemade book cover for a steamy romance about a unicorn breeder.

You're totally right about Twitter's direct-to-the-market features. They are kick ass. And Facebook as these two women are using it, is the slow seduction method that hopefully leads to them getting your email address where they can hit you direct anytime they've got something awesome to offer you.

John Falchetto
John Falchetto

Great points Howie and this explains a lot in my digital baby mind.

I agree I get no contacts, leads or clients on FB but I do get them on Twitter. Then again I could be using FB the wrong way.

How do you see G+ Business pages changing this? Will they be a repeat of Facebook pages?

bdorman264
bdorman264

I don't disagree, I want to sell you something on twitter. I have my PayPal set up now too.....or is that Hey Pal? Hmmmm.....

You make a good distinction of difference. I haven't really thought of it that way, but I see (and actually understand) what you are saying. But then again, you are smart like that so that's why I hang around people like you.

BTW - how are those ads doing on FB anyway? Are they making any money yet? Maybe it's just me, but I would have taken the money and ran when offered. Just sayin'................

Hopefully, Lisa and Gini had some good stuff left and didn't try to pass off any of that Old Milwaukee I saw stuck back in the corner of their 'fridge.

Have a good one buddy.

KenMueller
KenMueller

I think we need to look at Facebook from several perspectives: primarily small (local) vs. large (global). I find that for smaller, local companies, the Facebook pages work incredibly well, while the ads don't. I never look at the ads. They don't exist in my world and the click through rates are lower than on Google (which I also ignore). I often go to Facebook, in fact it's the first place I go, when I want info on a smaller, local company.

I've also gotten in the habit of going to Facebook for larger business pages. Why? Because my assumption is that because of the more easily updateable nature of Social Media, I'll get more current and relevant info on their social channels as opposed to their website. And I think this will happen more as we become more comfortable with the platform.

Tinu
Tinu

I've been saying for years that I dislike Facebook Pages for this actual reason. Their recent changes to let you post As the page has overcome about 25% of my reservations. I think they're missing out on a huge opportunity that Google's business pages may exploit. There should be a smart way to tie people to pages and let the people, in their capacity as representatives of a page, interact with actual humans, And still let that drive Ad buys. The technology is there, the willingness isn't. And that's a shame. Great post.

NancyD68
NancyD68

It is next to impossible to get fans for my company's Facebook page. The Twitter following is starting slowly to build. The problem is that executives everywhere see the number of Facebook users and have to be there too.

I think it is foolish to be there without a plan and even more foolish to go in without a loyal (even if kind of small) base. it just strikes me as "We have to get in and we have to get in NOW" or the old "shoot first and ask questions later"

Speaking of questions - how is response when you DM someone about your product/

sydcon_mktg
sydcon_mktg

Wow, @ginidietrich set you loose? LOL!

Great way to draw the line in the sand in the differences of both! I agree that they want the pages to fail, however I also think they are enjoying all the free advertising they are getting from these pages. Think about it, every time a commerical airs that says "visit us on Facebook" its a free advertisement for, wait for it...Facebook! Forget that company X just spent thousands on said ad, they just said visit us on "Facebook", so who is benefitng from that advertising budget?

On Twitter you have 140 characters & a small profile description to introduce yourself & your company. In 140 characters you can tease what you have to offer and then lead them to what should be your hub...your own website and not waste your advertising dollars promoting Facebook!

EmmaofCEM
EmmaofCEM

This kind of harkens back to what I used to say to Twitter-skeptic friends: To me, Facebook is a personal profile, whereas Twitter is a thoughts forum. My status updates on FB are about what I'm doing, whereas those on Twitter tend to be more of a "here's what I'm thinking" persuasion. I suppose this analysis extends over to marketing and sales strategies for both new media outlets, too.

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

You nailed the difference between Facebook and Twitter for marketing, Howie, and short and sweet, too. However, you can always use Twitter to drive traffic to your Facebook Brand Page. For the best results, use targeted callouts like, "Hey, @NEMultimedia, we're talking about Wordpress over on Facebook. What's your favorite comment platform?" with a link to the discussion. Because your Twitter followers have to become "fans" (I still call them that) in order to take part in discussions, you'll be driving the engagement that increases your EdgeRank. The more people who "Like" or comment on your Facebook Page, the higher your EdgeRank overall and with each of them individually, and the more likely they'll be to see your "billboard" when it flies by in their news feed. The smart "fans" who are trying to increase their own EdgeRank will "Like" your Brand Page as their OWN brands, and comment using their Brand profile.Still, you're right -- it's hard work at best, and a total crapshoot at worst. For most brands, the only real traffic you'll get is going to be driven from your other social media platforms.

~Michelle

Neicolec
Neicolec

Absolutely!! I think you're right. When you think of all the different things that Facebook could be doing to make pages more valuable, the only reason they wouldn't is because they are focused on ads for monetization. The thing is, businesses would pay for tools, information, and capabilities. Why do even networks like Facebook who have the power to remake advertising/marketing through innovation settle for the same old, same old?

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@jonbuscall Thanks for the great comment Jon. I think there is this view from the social media hypsters that traditional marketing can be tossed away. In fact traditional in my view should be the main driver (with ample use of technology of course) and use Social to bolster those efforts. I still sign up for email communications all the time!

BbeS
BbeS

@Lisa Gerber I agree with you Lisa. So many companies/people miss the power of Facebook because they can only think of it in terms of making a sale. If you don't use it for customer engagement and relationship building then you are missing the whole picture.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@tonia_ries Hi Tonia. I think that study actually still showed inflated numbers. I run a brand page for a gourmet dessert business with fanatical fans. I can't even give away product easily because people aren't seeing the posts.

My own studies show people with 200+ friends + fan pages will see less than 3% of the feed (Twitter is the same) just due to the volume. Also using Compete's unique visitors per month and unique visits total data I have estimated only 22mil of the 67 mil US log ins today are actually active on the site (commenting, status updates, clicking Like etc). And the activity data on the site is horrible. If I recall the average user did a status update once every 6 days.

I think the info we get shown is skewed by Facebook to reflect well on them to validate their ridiculous value. Remember Facebook took a lot of money from some very powerful people (Goldman Sachs, Russian and Chinese Mafia Connected Businesspeople) so there is immense pressure to go public get the cash out then if FB crashes no one cares.

And while I agree with the incremental value, @KenMueller and I were discussing what is Facebook. And it get's promoted as a marketing platform when it really doesn't work for that to any scale. I think the key is to figure out what your business can use it for (customer service? feedback/insights? does it work for marketing? etc) vs listening to what facebook or any guru's want to fit you into.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Jens-Petter Berget thanks for stopping by! congratulations. It is not a bad platform if you can get people coming to your page. It trick is getting them to come when they have so many things going on. The value then is either the community or what you bring as the page owner.

Obviously the community likes the platform and the subject matter is worth them coming back. I have always wanted to condition people to come to a clients page but also don't want it to be from bribes (coupons, deals etc)

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@bdorman264 I drank the Old Milwaukee yesterday sorry Bill! 8)

Thanks for the comment I needed some Bill humor since you and I are the once keeping everyone lose. I don't see Facebook ads. I block them all with Firefox. How are they doing 8)

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@KenMueller Thanks for the great comment Ken. A wise sage the Ad Contrarian said we all view marketing the way we absorb and interact and assume everyone is the same. I never go to Facebook for anything with Brands. Only to see my friends. I do observe brand pages for insight.

One thing though because Chobani did this with me. I mention being a store front hoping for customers. We all know if you have a great store people come. And so if you have a great page/community no different than Spin Sucks people will come to your page vs wait to see a post. I don't subscribe or RSS for Spin Sucks or most blogs. I go directly via typing in the search box for the most part.

One of my fav local restaurants is always packed. Yet they have very few Places check ins or posts on their page. But the page is active. But if your business is always packed do you need a FB page?

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Tinu Thank you and thanks for the comment.

Even if the pages would work better not sure the platform or we the people care or want them in our lives. I can go visit any brand I want online right now, their website, twitter, facebook etc but I'm not sure that would change. And for scale how can a brand with millions of customers talk with them without 1000's of people representing them. Small businesses the same. If you need to talk with 1000's I really want them coming into my store or to my website more than anything via social though I will agree anything that helps achieve that I am all for.

But I do believe in targeted ad buys not sure why Facebook is so bad at this LOL

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@NancyD68 my headbanging friend came to visit! 8)

I only DM the fanatics. It is a mobile business and they will beg for a visit and when I know they will be in the area I DM them. We also do a lot of DM's with people wanting my client for events and also recently I started a brand ambassador program and asked 10 fanatic customers for their emails and every one gave it to me.

Normally I just call people out when I can.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@sydcon_mktg@ginidietrich I agree with the publicity it is amazing. There is a florist on Rte 4 that instead of advertising a special on the sign in front says Like us on facebook. I was like"Really?" LOL

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@EmmaofCEM I have always had facebook as my private social life. And ironically a few brands I am really passionate about and would participate on their pages I never see posts from so forget they are there. I only visit Chobani on my own.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@New England Multimedia Hi Michelle you are correct about the traffic drive. I started posting fliers and photos on Facebook then linking them on twitter vs uploading directly to twitter. Traffic to the page jumped 100%. Funny thing though. Fans did not jump 100%. Seems plenty of people say 'we already follow on Twitter no need to fan on Facebook'. I am ok with that. as long as they become part of the community in one of the places my client is at.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Neicolec Hi Neicole that is interesting your point. I had a discussion last summer with Fred Wilson one of the backers of Twitter. I brought up if a tool/platform was good enough we would pay ie cell phone, internet access. He said Advertising is the only way for social. This had me rethink VC's as visionaries vs people just trying to make a buck. I would totally advise clients ti pay for a tool that worked especially if I could prove the return on investment paid off.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@BbeS@Lisa Gerber I agree. As I noted below @KenMueller and I have been hashing this out. The problem for social is Sales is what gives the massive valuations. Unless Social is driving revenue the markets and investors don't care about it, the mashables have no readers, etc.

So that is what all the news and trade pub focuses on. If Social doesn't drive sales and is more an insight and customer retention platform and one with limited reach then the CFO says nestle it in customer service and we are not paying someone $100k to be a community manager.

So of course people with these jobs will be saying how many fans/followers vs how many engagements or sales. The trade pubs with journalists who might lose jobs if the sales fraud is debunked will have to find new gigs. The VCs who have been investing only because the public possibly will over pay for IPOs (they don't care as long as they get to flip the investment) might stop investing.

No different than the dot.com, day trading, and sub prime industries. Power interests see big paydays before the bust.

The smart businesses and marketers will identify the true value of activities and true usefulness of various aspects to help their business. All business have to allocate resources to maximize revenues and profits. And if you notice the biggest brands kind of shun their pages because they see more money to be made still with TV spots and storefronts etc. They have pages but the investment reflects what they feel they are getting out of it. On twitter too not just Facebook.

If I have to reach 50mil people or like say Nestle 1 billion people world wide this week.....It isn't happening via social.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2@John Falchetto I still view social as person to person. I think since all businesses have websites already and the data overload we all have I don't see it changing. The question is would you rather have someone go to a FB or G+ page or Expat Life Coach? Because that to me is the choice.

The fact is for Brand's they all want to chat with us and we don't have time. We drive by how many stores every day and don't go in. The stores we LOVE we do go in...but every day? How often. I see it no different. Lack of time and interacting with brands ranks dead last..until we need them...which is when we decide we want to buy something, are pissed, or they did something great enough for us to come say that.

So a page is better than say 'customer service email' in my opinion. And a great place to data mine. But I was made to watch a stress video for a job. The speaker had us rank stressful events. He was in LA. He said bumper to bumper traffic. Everyone was like 90 out of 100. Then he said car crash. House burning down. You get cancer. Next thing Traffic was a 5.

So I think where do brands fit? Vs watching Football. Going on a hike. Reading a book. Watching a movie. Hanging with friends. Brands keep falling way down.

So its part platform part...its our life..we see your ads everywhere. We see your stores your brands everywhere. But hey..please be there when I need you until then relax and wait. Just my opinion.

bdorman264
bdorman264

@HowieG I think they made $37 last month, but it was an influential $37............just sayin'...............

KenMueller
KenMueller

@HowieG See, I think that's where the argument breaks down. In that way, you are solely viewing Facebook as a marketing tool. It is NOT a marketing tool, but it does have marketing value. I believe that businesses that view it solely as marketing are making a big mistake. It's more of a big picture tool, heavy on the customer service/experience/engagement end of things. And yes, there is a marketing aspect.

The other side is, I've seen plenty of restaurants that are always packed...and then suddenly they go out of business. Or aren't packed. What is true now, isn't true for tomorrow. And you don't wait until things are bad to engage with your customers. Engaging with them when things are good is actually the best scenario. Part of that is you might have those social channels open and notice that things are going poorly early enough to make corrections BEFORE you start to notice the drop in customers.

The key is to not pigeonhole social, or anything, to just the marketing silo. Big picture thinking.

NancyD68
NancyD68

@HowieG you didn't think I would miss this did you? Come on now!

Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2
Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

@HowieG@New England Multimedia I could totally see how that would happen. At this point in my life I'm far more open to watching my Facebook Newsfeed vs. my Twitter timeline. For some people it's the opposite. For me I think it's more a "Comfort" thing. I'm way more familiar and entrenched in Facebook because it popped my social media cherry.

I also enjoy the way you get a wider preview of what you'll be clicking through to. Example I just copied from the "Men With Pens" post in my news feed...

How Breakfast at Tiffanys Teaches You to Become a Classic Writer

If I asked you the question, “What’s the movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s about?” you’d probably say something like this: “Isn’t Audrey Hepburn in that? And doesn’t she really want to have breakfast at Tiffany’s?” Yes, she is, and yes, she does, but those things are not, in fact, what Breakfast at Tiffany’s is really about. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is about overcoming discouragement and fear....

==================

For me, more often than not, this ends up being a Goldilocks snippet. Not too much. Not too little. Just right in a tight little box.

Michelle, I really like the idea of pushing people from Twitter to Facebook. That's smooth. When it comes to doing bidniz on either of these sites, I'm not using either anywhere near their potential so I'm grateful for people like you and Howie who share their discoveries and distinctions that lead to improved results.

BobReed
BobReed

@HowieG@New England Multimedia Your last sentence says it all, Howie. As Jay Baer has been known to say, Social Media is the new telephone, and customers expect to find you where they already are.

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

@HowieG I agree, and I confess I'm the same way. I may "Like" your brand on Facebook, but that doesn't mean I'll engage with you there if I'm already engaging on Twitter -- and that goes the other way as well. I did see an interesting blog post a couple of days ago on ways to drive engagement on Facebook. The author had tested a few tricks and increased the number of new fans, "Likes," and comments. I'm testing them myself over the next few weeks to see what works for our brand.

BbeS
BbeS

@KenMueller@HowieG@marijean

Great discussion. I hear the gurus and ninja, or whatever they want to call themselves, talking about how social media is going to save the world. Then on the other side you have those that say it is just a fad. I believe it is something in the middle or rather another useful tool.

When I work with clients it is typically a collaboration with traditional marketing, customer service and other aspects of their business. Social media is tool that should be used throughout a business.@kenmueller I definitely agree with not using insights as a real metric. I'm always amazed that even large respected agencies and companies still don't dig deeper than impressions, visitors, etc.

KenMueller
KenMueller

@HowieG I agree, and this is the approach I use with my clients. And Google is in the same boat, when you look at the exposure businesses get, or don't get, with Ad Words, etc.And that's a big part of what @marijean and I are trying to include in the book we are writing. The thing is, we may position it as marketing, but only because that's what people want. But they will get more. In the same way I position myself as being in the "social media marketing" business...because that's what businesses are looking for online. They don't understand terms like "inbound marketing", etc.

Around here, the Social Media clubs are ALL marketers...and the kind I like to avoid.

Also, I never focus on insights as a real metric. the whole concept of impressions can be a very false metric across the board when you fully understand what they are (and aren't) measuring.

Part of my goal is to educate businesses, and marketers, to get that big picture type of thinking when it comes to social media. It's why I often refer to it as SOCIAL media as opposed to social MEDIA. When we focus on the second word, we salivate and await big results overnight. That won't happen. But the slower, more organic, relational growth, while it takes time, can be much more meaningful.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@KenMueller

I am not viewing Facebook as a marketing tool. It is what it is being sold as by Facebook, Mashable, the VC's, the 70bil valuation, Vitrue and Likeable and all those Ahem Gurus who give speeches and sell books trying to show brands how to sell and grow using Facebook.

I agree with you 100% actually. My mission is to expose the fraud that is Facebook as a marketing/sales machine because that is what is being sold to everyone. That is why the Social media Clubs often lack marketers attending and have the average person with a business. They want that golden insight so that they can forget everything else they need to do to be successful.

That is why you hear there are 700mil users. They never actually say how many you can really reach which is a small % of that of any given time. You hear this brand has 20mil fans. They never say 'well this brand gets only 200 people per post participating. And why Facebook Page Impression insights are wrong by a magnitude of 10.

So you are correct. I find value in Facebook. And my goal is to teach what that value really is. I have seen pages that work to varying degrees. ATT has figured they can help a % of the customer service volume via Facebook. That has value. They can't help all the volume or even a significant portion.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@BobReed@New England Multimedia I have been saying Social Media is a technology platform vs media for a long time. Still surprised all the networks are only ad supported. Vs monthly fee. We surely don't get a free IPhone and Service paid for by ads or someone interrupting a phone call to advertise pepsi.

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