We have this view of the world that the super-mega market leaders in one niche or market have a superpower that will guarantee success in new markets. The current Facebook S1 release is just another sign of this irrational view. “Facebook dominates advertising.” “Facebook more important for advertisers than Google.” “Mark Zuckerberg for President.”
The majority of brands are only good at doing one thing. If you hit the jackpot, they are good at 2 things. Almost nobody is good at three things. Remember when Facebook Places was launched and every dopey pundit proclaimed the end of Foursquare? (Including this dope.) Or when Google Wave launched? Google Buzz? G Phone? When Yahoo tried social. (Let’s not hate on a corpse.) When Microsoft got into mobile hundreds of years ago and never achieved their goals? Or when Apple tried social?
Size does matter. But it’s not everything.
There are rare instances where companies can crush a competitor: IE vs. Netscape comes to mind. But it’s not common. That’s why you shouldn’t be brainwashed by the size of a company, focus on the excellence of a company. Facebook is really good at growing their user base, allowing us to share information with family and friends. They belong in the user baser growing Hall of Fame. Does Facebook do anything else that belongs in the Hall of Fame? Deals? Places? Commerce? Advertising Conversion? Monetization. Nope. They didn’t even make the roster, riding the Minor League bus.
Will Google ever succeed in social? Google+ is doing okay but it’s not in the same league as Facebook and Twitter. They even show cracks in their dominance of the search business. Microsoft’s browser domination is gone. Soon, Facebook will see increasing fatigue and the brainwashing of a new shiny tool. While we live longer, social platforms life expectancy tends to decrease.
Don’t get fooled by size. On Sunday, many advertisers will link their advertising to Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. That’s foolish. Facebook owns all the data. Who guarantees you that they don’t sell it to your closest competitor?
Look at the big picture and have a long-term strategy. If you put more and more eggs in Facebook, you need to move some out and put them in different platforms. It’s not about new platforms, it’s about experimenting with better ways to market, platforms that convert and technologies that are effective in achieving your business goals.