By now, everybody knows that customers to Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, MSN, NY Times, WSJ, etc. are not the visitors. Advertisers are the customers. All these sites make money selling advertising. Over time we learned, placing ads on Facebook is much less effective than placing them on Yahoo!, WSJ or even MySpace.
How come? Wasn’t the narrative that Facebook knows everything about us? That they unlocked the gate to the holy grail of marketing? The frictionless sharing paradigm will lead us to the golden ages of marketing, including fountains of youth and unlimited budgets.
Think about what you do all day and what you share on Facebook. (Forget about the few exceptions that share everything.) I bet it’s less than 0.1% for 99% of all Facebook users. I would even bet it’s less than 0.001% for for 98% of all Facebook users. You do thousands of things today and you may share 1-2 posts daily, if you’re a heavy users.
Compare that to major sites. They’ve been around forever. Some, like Yahoo!, Google and MSN, have their own email product. You read news on Yahoo or MSN, never on Facebook. If you want to find a local movie, you visit Bing. If you want to see TV listings, you go to Yahoo! While so many people proclaim Yahoo! is already in the coffin and rotting away, have a look at the rate of interaction on some of their sections. More people search on Yahoo! than on Facebook.
Since Yahoo (and all these other major sites) are connected to massive ad networks and ad exchanges, they track what you like, what you do, where you live and understand more about your real digital life than Facebook could ever imagine. Google didn’t build Maps and Google Documents to help you through your daily life. They build all these tools to understand each user better.
Facebook doesn’t have acces to that information. Yet. That’s why I get these silly ads.
I don’t care about any of these products. Ever.
This doesn’t mean the future is a black hole for Facebook. The future might be all rainbows.
The present? A different story. When brands tell me they want to increase their Facebook ad spending dramatically in the next 6 months, I wonder if it’s because the bandwagon is coming through their town or because they see real business results. Sure, there are brands that are successful using the Facebook ad project. The majority should be looking for other (”OLD”) targeting tactics to get good results in the short-term.
Tags: advertisers, behavioral targeting, Facebook, Google, interactions, MSN, NY Times, Targeting, yahoo
A few weeks ago, I started working with a new client, a mid-size business. They started using Social Media a few years back and, over time, developed presences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, a blog, Facebook Places, Tumblr and just started on Pinterest. Their previous Social Media consultant operated on the premise: Businesses need to be on as many social media channels as they can.
Why? In this rapidly changing world, businesses never know where their customer is going to be, so a business needs to be everywhere.
Mr. Consultant, stand in the corner and write “I will never recommend something that insane again.” 10,000 times.
There are two reasons why consultants, experts or agencies would give obnoxious advice:
- They try to fleece customers.
- They don’t know what they are doing.
I won’t even bother with people that try to fleece brands. Ultimately, brands will see through it and end the scam prematurely.
I’m much more concerned with people that believe in the philosophy that brands should be everywhere. Should Axe advertise on each TV Channel, even the Hallmark Channel? Should PETA run an ad in the Hunter’s Journal? Should Obama advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show?
Social Media shows its immaturity when “being everywhere” is still an advice I hear every day. Just like traditional and digital media, social media needs to rely on research – for example a social media audit. Understanding demographics, psychographics, spend decisions, social network use, day/time parting – all the good stuff and more that helps you understand where you need to be, when you need to be there, and what you should be doing/saying while you’re around. This helps brands and their community not to waste anyone’s time, helps to achieve goals and measure results.
Don’t be everywhere. Just be where your research tells you to be.
Tags: Facebook, Foursquare, Google, linkedin, media, Pinterest, research, social, social media, Strategy, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube
Good aggregation of data by Esteban. Below are a few notes:
- Ranked by growth, India (51.7%) and Indonesia (51.6%) are the Top 5 social networking countries, followed by India, Mexico and Brazil.
- Only 16% of Facebook “fans” see posts. Make sure that is communicated to stakeholders when you report your Facebook reach.
- U.S. Social Media ad spending to reach $9.8 billion by 2016, challenging traditional advertising and threatening display ad growth.
- Google+ has 150 MM monthly active users after only 1 year, less of social network more of a SoLoMo layer.
- Since December 2011, YouTube views have dropped by 28% while YouTube tries to be a TV-like appointment viewing platform with their premium channels.
- 75% of U.S. Smartphone owners regularly use location-based services.
- Pinterest visits are slowing down, just like the number of users of FB Connect. A correction or a trend?
- “Social Business” shifting from buzzword to market reality.
Tags: Facebook, location-based service, smartphone, social business, Social Marketing, social media, SoLoMo, YouTube
10+ years ago everybody tried to build portals. “Stickiness” ruled the digital marketing world.
5+ years ago everybody started to build microsite. The intention was to capture a single-minded idea in one destination. Brand sites had become too complex and hard for people to navigate.
Some of the microsites worked well: If you were in the market for a specific car, the microsite provides you with the most relevant information to get your task done.
While some sites worked, the web quickly became a dump for bad executions, wasting billions of client dollars with nothing to show for. Microsites transformed into ugly hybrids of brand and single-minded idea sites, adding more content and clutter.
3+ years ago everybody started to dislike microsites. Nobody clicked on banners, traffic was too small to justify further investment and suddenly brands wanted to be where everybody else was: MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the others platforms with tons of traffic. Microsites became an afterthought. Marketers looked at the dump of failed microsites, shaking their heads and muttering: “Microsites don’t work.” aka “It’s you, not me.”
It was always me and not you.
Well-executed microsites still work and will work for a long time to come. They’re just as hard to find as a fan of Frank McCourt.
2+ years ago marketers fell in love with apps. They revolutionized the way we shared content with an audience, replaced the typical catalog website with a more interactive and innovative medium. Just like the microsite a few years ago. Each app has a single-minded idea and functionality. And, most importantly, functionality.
That was always the biggest problem with microsites: The only purpose was to convey an abstract message or to aspire to be some kind of cultural phenomenon/expression of technology prowess. “We hired the best flash developer.”
The end of microsites seems to be near. I still think they can survive and not be swallowed by the App Monster that’s taking over our media engagement time. They just have to serve a purpose, an extension of the product/brand, they should serve as a value add for the brand offering.
Maybe I should rewrite the headline to: “Long live the microsite.”
What do you think?
Tags: app, digital world, Facebook, linkedin, microsite, myspace, portal, stickiness, Twitter
Last night I was standing on our patio, admiring the sunset with my daughter. She looked at me and asked:
“Do you like the sunset?”
“Yes, I like the sunset.”
“I like it, too.”
According to some brands, agencies and consultants, that simple interaction turned both of us into ‘fans’ of the May 16, 2012 sunset. The company that created the May 16 sunset just acquired 2 valuable ‘brand ambassadors’ that have an influence on the bottom line of ‘May 16, 2012 Inc.’.
Welcome to the silly world of Facebook likes
The way some ‘experts’ cherish likes, you’d think they were lengthy love letters written in blood. Well, given that toilet paper has 10,496 likes, the premise that people click on things that mean a lot to them becomes absurd quickly.
Still, many brands and agencies use ‘likes’ as a metric to measure brand popularity.
The reason? It’s the easy way out and has no downside – besides that more and more brands go down the evil path of buying fans, putting ‘like’ traps in front of valuable content and eliminate any favorable feelings through forced love tactics.
Facebook is the Unicorn world. What would happen if the platform would introduce a “Don’t like”, “Don’t care”, “Hate it” and “Love it” button? The majority of brands would say goodbye quickly because expressions of apathy and dislike would outnumber any favorable interaction. Well, we know this is not going to happen. Revenue on Facebook would decline dramatically and, let’s face it, that’s what Facebook is all about, isn’t it?
There’s value in Facebook likes
There’s no value in considering like as an expression of brand favorability, love or passion. Most people push that thumbs up button as easy and mindless as they flush their toilet.
There’s a lot of opportunity in the social space. Brands will never unlock it if they continue to look at the Unicorn world through pink colored glasses.
Tags: Facebook, fans, revenue, value