March 31, 2014

Facebook's Awesome Bait-And-Switch

I guess you have to admire the shamelessness of their duplicity.

And I guess you have to marvel at the stupidity and naivete of an industry that not only allows such bullshit to exist, but doesn't even seem to care.

The subject is social media marketing, and the perpetrator is Facebook.

Let's go back a few years. Social media marketing was going to disrupt the traditional paid advertising industry big time (by the way, if I ever hear you utter the word disrupt I'm coming with a shovel to disrupt your face.)

You see, you and I were going to "join the conversation."

We'd be going on line and having conversations about brands. And these conversations would be read and shared by our network of friends and followers. And this would create a multiplier effect that would make folly of traditional paid advertising.

According to an article at, Facebook's Global Brand Experience Manager once believed that companies need to… replace random display ads. Those… ads will fall by the wayside, like so many other obsolete processes and technologies.

Well, by now it's pretty clear that the whole thing was an infantile fantasy. Or as McKinsey & Company put it a few weeks ago...
"E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined."
Now it seems that even Facebook, the former poster child for social media marketing, is joining the rats in abandoning the social media marketing ship.

Now that Facebook is a real company and has to make real money and is finding that real advertising is its real business, they are singing a new tune.

Last week, Time magazine reported that Facebook’s Pages platform reaches only 6% of a brand’s followers, and is headed down to 1 to 2%.

When questioned about this by Time, here’s what a Facebook spokesperson had to say...
“… if businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising.”
Boy, am I confused.


JP said...

Good read. Effective comms is effective comms. I believe the social media boom was staged by people jumping on the band wagon with opinion and stating it (said subject goes here) like it was fact or they an expert. Some of it is very worthy when well directed but the human race needs to get back to quality not quantity, in this and many things. Talk to me directly and you'll have my attention, but when lots of people shout different things all we hear is noise and the bleating of sheep. Hiding behind numbers that fit doesn't cut it as success.

Neil said...

Far be it from me to question a man's right to monetize his intellectual property, but as a regular reader, I wasn't expecting to see "11 Best Boob Jobs In Hollywood" at the conclusion of this article.

Jimmy Gilmore said...

Never mind that no one wants to "join the conversation" with their toilet bowl cleaner, even if they are cute animated scrubbing bubbles.

Edmund Hershberger said...

Why not? Isn't it obvious that most advertising is perpetrated by fake boobs?

dmarti said...

Now that I have the Facebook profile of an 88-year-old woman, I'm getting terrible, cheesy, scammy advertising on that site.

It looks like Bob is right about legit advertisers not wanting to reach older customers.

dmarti said...

I'm getting "13 Celebrities with Awesome and REAL Bodies"

Eccles9 said...

According to a comment purportedly from Facebook in an article in the Australian trade media:

'Marketers care about guaranteed reach and the only way to guarantee that
people see their messages is to buy ads. This is, and always has been,
the best marketing strategy and it has been true on most platforms,
offline and online.'


jhon staphen said...

I see many of them in brand
marketing agency

Jon P said...

What do you know? There's still no such thing as a free lunch.

When you build your web presence on rented property, the landlord can up the rent at any time. The enduring lesson of Facebook is that you should build your own media channel. And realize that if it isn't entertaining and relevant, nobody will watch it.