A recent Social Media Today blog post by J.C. Kendall, CEO of TekPersona, gave me a serious case of déjà vu. He calls it, “Facebook: Waste of Time for Most Advertisers.”
Kendall points out that there’s increasing evidence that Facebook as a money-making tool is looking like a bust. He quotes IBM reports that underscore the notion that making money on Facebook is a fool’s game. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but data from both Black Friday and Cyber Monday show that a very small percentage of sales was directly attributable to social media.
What’s the problem? Is it that social media is still new, and companies aren’t proficient as maximizing its commerce-generating potential?
No, instead, Kendall refers to “Commercial Intent,” stating that it’s a variable that is essentially non-existent on social media platforms. Bottom line: people don’t go to Facebook or Twitter with the idea of wanting to buy something. They generally show up at these sites to hang out, show off their holiday photos, brag about their kids, and to chitty-chat.
So, what’s the problem with making money from Facebook, and why does it appear to be such a challenge? Here’s the money quote from Kendall’s blog:
“The true value of social media is that it provides a very effective forum for both corporate (business) and personal branding. ”
And that is something that seems inherently true when you look at brand pages throughout Facebook. The very best ones are connecting with fans, giving them a voice, and allowing them to enjoy and talk about the products and services. And that has nothing to do with whipping out a credit card.
Interestingly, Kendall points out that while Facebook really doesn’t move the money needle, Google+ has tremendous potential. Why? Because it is tied to an amazing search engine – and that’s where we go to learn about TVs, mattresses, and restaurants.
Because Lori Lewis has been saying the same thing for a long time – to our clients, in Merge (the column she pens for All Access), and in memos, blog posts, and articles.
The best of these was authored almost one year ago in February 2012, and it is linked here. “About Face(book)” nailed some of the key points to remember about the limitations of Mark Zuckerberg’s “kid,” but also how it can be used most effectively.
Lori’s money quote?
“Facebook could be the most effective gateway to the digital space you own – but only when you have earned the permission to be part of your audience’s daily lives (which is their “live feeds”) by building on your station’s social value and trust.
To continue to use Facebook as a blatant promotional/sales device erodes your station’s social value because that behavior interferes with people’s experiences on Facebook and jeopardizes what could be that priceless asset.”
We would love to hear your feedback on this one, because it has great importance in the way that broadcasters utilize the human and financial resources they have.
Money making or brand building?
I think we’re moving toward the truth.