Facebook backlash isn’t just about Facebook (but I bet it wishes it was)

This month I’ve read a few articles bashing the facebook IPO.  The most resounding one was: Facebook Ads Aren’t Grabbing Users.

Have you ever clicked on a facebook ad?  Out of interest in a product?

Social media people will (hopefully) tell you that social media is a tough nut to crack.  The best tools are passion and authenticity, which breed consistency.

Facebook ads don’t get clicked on because very few ads of any kind in any medium get “clicked on” anymore.  People are either interested in a product or they aren’t.  TV, Radio, Print, Web.  There’s noise everywhere, and you’re either passionate, authentic, and consistent (and funny helps a lot), or you’re noise.

Part of the facebook backlash was GM pulling their facebook advertising budget the week before the IPO.  This is a big lumbering slow-moving corporation that actually analyzed its facebook ad performance and decided it wasn’t going to make any babies there and pulled right the heck out.

Money doesn’t buy happiness?  Maybe.  But you definitely can’t monetize friendship.  When you do, the friendship goes away.

What does all of this mean for everyone who wishes to advertise on facebook?  Or any other social media FTM (for that matter)?

Bring PASSION, be AUTHENTIC, be CONSISTENT.  And if you’d like to interest me at all, be funny and be quick about it.  And don’t use big words like Deliverables and Strategic Objectives.  Talk normal, folks.  If your service delivers results nobody cares where you came from (if they do care, let them ask).  What I’m noticing more and more, is that the more time and physical space you need to explain to someone why you functionally exist, the less important you are.

….sorry, got off on a rant.  gee, how important am at, clocking in a 327 characters so far.

Consistency is the straw that breaks the camels back.  You can fake passion and authenticity for only so long…then you just get tired of it if your heart isn’t in the game.

Consistency is two fold:  1) Update regularly, and 2) measure your results to give people more of what they want.  If you make money from cats dancing to Katy Perry, post something new about that once a week.  If you make money from your adorable dog, post something new about that every day.  If you make money by writing a regular 3000 essay on being a single dad, do that.

If you do a posting, or a video, or an instagram, or a tweet, only once every so often, you’re not going to benefit a whole lot from social media marketing, because you won’t actually be doing social media marketing.

Facebook ads:  they don’t work because they aren’t authentic.  People who are on facebook are there to interact with their friends.  It’s just like watching TV….you DVR everything because you’re there to experience your shows, not watch commercials.

When your own “commercials” become the reason that people are there, the thing that people are interacting with – – THAT is when you will be effectively using social marketing.

Signed and untagged,



Facebook: Why is nobody listening?

Update 2012-02-19 – this original blog post has been cross-posted on “socialmediatoday – the world’s best thinkers on social media,” as well as “SmartData Collective – the world’s best thinkers on business intelligence and analytics.

One headline this week read, Procter & Gamble would lay off 1,600 after discovering that advertising on Facebook is free. But how many of your 2000 fans bother to take part in the conversationLess than half a percent. Learn from Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Nike! Or maybe NOT.

I just got back from another convention where an ad agency tried to convince the audience that Facebook was a fantastic way to improve your bottom line. Are you sceptical? So am I.

We can probably agree that if a company wants to use social media effectively, it must evaluate its current position with the help of a social media audit (Gattiker, 2012 – coming soon). Moreover, if you run a huge marketing campaign that implies customers are cool and have exciting lives, nobody cares about the brand, as evidenced by this Red Bull branding video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

1. Facebook engagement up to 0.90 percent

But the Red Bull video also suggests that we must audit how well you do with social media. For instance, a very small percentage of fans that Like your competitor’s Facebook page see the carefully crafted status updates. Accordingly, Facebook status updates are similar to broadcasting a message to an empty football stadiumimagine the Super Bowl without an audience.

In the Mercedes-Benz video below, people call for a cab and get picked up by a trailer truck. If you can afford the €200,000 to hire VonMatt to script the story and make the video, you might get 8000 views for the English version and 20,000 for the German one. The question is whether this is a flop. Measure for impact, anyone? Continue reading “Facebook: Why is nobody listening?” »

Fundraising by Shotgun

When it’s phrased that way, it even sounds unpleasant, doesn’t it?

We’re lucky enough to currently live in an economy where funds are precious.  They seem tightly held and difficult to extract.  I work with only a couple of non-profits, and the approaches that worked in a good economy are not making a dent right now.

I’m not going to offer any solid solutions in this post.  I am going to offer caution.

The heartstrings of benefactors checkbooks are not easily tugged when they are bombarded by funding requests and see neighbors lining up at food banks.

Do not spend your non-profit’s money just for the sake of trying to do something that you hope will raise money and and awareness.  When you’re strapped for cash and digging, do not advertise just for the sake of advertising.

Do not fire your shotgun into the bushes and then go poke about, hoping that you hit something.  You’ll get a bunch of leaves and a cloud of dust.  And them squirrels you were hoping to nail?…they will run for the trees.

Plan your moves, build relationships, and then move forward.

One solution that is frequently reviewed and even more frequently shot into the bushes is SOCIAL MEDIA.   OOOooooooooooh.  So shiny and pretty.  All the cool kids are doing it.  And they look so cool and popular.

Here’s an article that I recently enjoyed reading, “Facebook and Twitter are Stupid.”  It’s a shock value title, but makes some very good points.

If you’re a non-profit (or even a small business) currently paying anything for social media, stop right now and evaluate your expenses.  Because one of the great benefits of social media – one of the reasons everyone is doing it – is because you can do it yourself.

I absolutely hate to see money wasted.  I hate it more when it’s a non-profit throwing precious funds into the prevailing wind.

Where is this coming from?  Partly because yesterday I received my Northwest Harvest mailer and spent some time reading about food banks in the state going broke, functioning purely on volunteers, etc.  Several times in the flyer, and in the envelope in front of me reminding me to donate, it mentions that NWHarvest can provide a family of 3 with one meal for just 67 cents.

If your non-profit is paying someone $500 to create or maintain a social presence, or advertise, or something along those lines, please don’t be paying this if you’re a flat broke non-profit.  Look at the work that you do, look at what you want to achieve, and remember that the same $500 could potentially be providing 746 meals – 248 days of food – to a hungry family.

NWHarvest has extensive relationships and is very well-run.  They are a shining example of how a non-profit can benefit people through structure and resources.

I’ll generalize that every non-profit does need to attract attention and grow to some size that allows the organization to be one of action.

I’ll also generalize that becoming an organization of action will not happen without a structured approach that builds relationships and from those relationships, builds attention and the money to get things done.

And I’ll stretch this over to business.  We all know that we/you do business with people that you trust, that referrals are golden, all that good stuff.  To this day, in my freelance work, my most profitable projects have been with people who have a history with me and trust my work.  2nd most profitable: referrals.

I don’t buy advertising.  I maintain an online presence as a tool; I know that it’s a good thing to have, I know that it allows me to be “found,” and I also know that I cannot directly trace any revenue entirely to my online presence.  Not a penny.

Non-profits (and businesses) should not and cannot rely soley on their online presence, their social media, to bring them money and attention.  I’ve noticed that they place a lot of hope that social media will be their silver bullet.  It’s not going to work that way.

Think for a moment about business networking groups.  A bunch of people just like you get together and talk and exchange cards.  It’s good commaradarie.  It’s a pleasant time.  Do you keep going back if you don’t develop any business from these business networking groups?  Are you able to pay for the roof over your head because you’re trading services with this and that fellow professional?  Or are you actually building relationships that are leading to mutual revenue generation?

To attempt to bring this back around to the point; over the last year I saw several socially promoted events that were attended only by the people running the booths.  The events still looked like they gathered a good crowd.  Everyone had a good time.  But there was nobody bringing in money from outside of the vendors.  Because it relied soley on social media promotion and people patting themselves on the back for setting up their multiple social presences, while absolutely no relationships were developed.

Just because you or your organization is able to throw something together and advertise it socially (or advertise it at all) does not mean that you will achieve beneficial results.

Just because you have a cause does not mean benefactors will see your logo and instantly care.

Just because you have fired a shotgun into the bushes does not mean you will feed your family, or any family, tonight.

When was the last time your read about Bill Gates or Paul Allen finding something really cool on facebook or a blog and deciding to invest a chunk of cash because they felt so giddy and touched?

Create a plan.  Develop relationships.  Use the plan and relationships to invest in the proper tools.  Then you’ll end up benefiting people.

Scott Bell
BLOG: http://mediadesignseattle.blogspot.com/