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?” »

Teenage children? No guns required; don’t retaliate, negotiate

Recently 18 million viewers on YouTube witnessed one very frustrated father take a 45 caliber pistol to his 15 year old daughters’ laptop.

Without going into a lot of detail, his daughter had expressed outraged feelings of oppression and exploitation regarding her roles and responsibilities within her family’s household. Attempting to conceal her full self-expression from her family’s eyes, she posted her outrage and expose on Facebook. The result was innocent technology very publicly sacrificed upon the altar of parental frustration and anger.

The resulting and viral YouTube video was her father’s attempt to deal with his feelings of disrespect, outrage and exploitation. His dramatic response generated a careful visit from child protective services that discovered that children were indeed safe and that all guns were safely kept in the home.

But what if there had been another way to handle the family dynamics such that all participants were fully aware of their relationship to one another and then signed willingly on to do their part?

Our role as parents is to grow the capacities of our children step by step until they are fully prepared to leave our nest and fulfill their responsibilities as adults.

What that means for parents of teenagers is that they need to transition from being the directors of their children’s lives, entirely appropriate for children up to adolescence, to being the producers of their teenage children’s lives. This involves a carefully thought out and planned restructuring of family roles and responsibilities that allows for honor and respect for all parties while providing a safe nurturing environment in which teenagers may grow.

In the case of mutually outraged dads, moms, sons and daughters I urge families to step back and restructure their home as a family community of adults and near-adults with all roles and responsibilities clearly distinguished, divided, and agreed upon by all parties.

What there is to do is to hold a family council ad talk to one another, parents and teenagers, asking the following questions.
Now that all members are growing up:

• What is a family as a community?
• What does it take to run one successfully?
• What are the roles and responsibilities of all members?
• What is your, my, and our part in all of the above?

Had the daughter been invited into that conversation she may very well have:

Felt honored as the near-adult she is becoming.
Gratified that she was invited into an adult-level conversation
Had an opportunity to express her views and her treated with respect.
Chosen, after negotiation, which roles and responsibilities she was prepared to sign on and commit to.

After those agreements are reached the role of parents is to help teenagers grow in integrity, expand their capacity to honor their word, which will serve them when they become fully adult.

Will there still be conflicts, some resistance, and instances of “I don’t wannas?” Certainly.

The difference is that in a family community there is a solid foundation for mutual honor and respect that supports communication, and effectively grows the capacity for every family member to work things out amicably.

In well structured producer families there can be no need to express such total parental outrage, resentment, frustration and anger; there need never be such wounding and insulting Facebook diatribes nor 45 caliber bullets applied to innocent technology.
Don’t retaliate, communicate and then negotiate.

Everybody wins.

How would you handle this situation?

Asks: Paul@relationshipliteracy.com