Social Network Fear Spending  

Ok. This really cheeses me off…

“But Peter Yared, CEO of marketing firm iWidgets, said he thinks some of that spending is going to shift to where the viewers, and the traffic, increasingly are. ‘Soon the [search-engine marketing and search-engine optimization] spend will start to follow the eyeballs and transition from Google to social media,’ he said.”

This all just smacks of the same sort of thing that got everyone into the financial crisis. (sorry. just watched jon stewart face off against jim cramer last night).

I can’t say that my mind is boggled by the fact that the CEO of a marketing firm, specializing in Facebook widgets says that Facebook is becoming the center of the universe. A bunch of people who run companies specializing in Twitter and Facebook tell the masses that Facebook and Twitter are the most important things ever and your company will die if you don’t start utilizing it? Meanwhile, no one knows what the heck to do with Facebook and Twitter. Know why? Because their companies don’t FIT into that model.

“So what do brands need to know as they convert their Facebook pages to regular profiles in the next few days?”

What the? In the next few days? Don’t assume we’re going along with this because they say we just HAVE to. It smacks of fear-mongering. It sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy designed to keep them in business. I could be wrong though. It’s possible that I don’t see the big picture and am just old-fashioned. (Quick question: How much activity does that MySpace page you just HAD to build get?)

Or…-maybe it’s not best for YOU to go out and have a huge facebook and twitter presence (although some is probably worthwhile). Now, I suppose it’s possible that people start these companies because there actually IS a market for this. It’s possible that I’m totally wrong here and that Facebook will become the nexus for all internet traffic. But how does it turn into leads? Brand recognition? Ok, that I CAN see. For example, use your profile to start a Group that a lot of people can get behind. Creates brand affinity and awareness, and it’s NOT advertising. There ARE ways to use Facebook. There Are!

“Soon the [search-engine marketing and search-engine optimization] spend will start to follow the eyeballs and transition from Google to social media.”

The way I see it is like this. I don’t care about the quantity of eyeballs. I care about the quality of eyeballs. If you take all the SEO and marketing people off of Twitter, you’d have like 53 people using it. 50,00,000 people looking for a drunk Brittany Spears on YouTube does not, in my mind make that the best place for me to place all of my marketing budget for selling cement mixers. Facebook has 175 million active users. All of whom CHOOSE who they talk to and listen to. Do they want to add someone to their friend-update-feed that’s just selling them something? Highly doubt it. They get enough ads from everywhere else. This is where they go to talk to their “friends”… only. I could be wrong though.

Is a potential customer going to accept your site as a friend just to receive product offers from you? No. Maybe if you provide some genuinely useful content that someone everyday could use (because remember, these applications are getting checked EVERY DAY, every HOUR even). I just think that the only ones who are going to care, or “Friend” you, are marketing people, your employees and your competition.

UNLESS… you provide a supplementary offering so wonderful and out-of-the-box that ordinary people are compelled to want anything and everything to do with you.

I just think there’s something inherently wrong with the model of blatantly trying to sell people something by acting like just another one of their “friends” on a social network. It’s never going to happen (famous last words). Ever see a company’s Twitter Followers vs. Follows numbers? Most of the time there are like 2 followers (employees) but they are following like 5,000 people. Most of whom just block the company from their feeds. It’s called spam. I get it all the time. “Get a free laptop!” No thanks. But, I’ll take your addition to MY “followers” number because it makes ME look more important to everyone else. It’s all BS, folks.

The bottom line is, just be careful when reading articles saying that you have to start migrating everything to Facebook and Twitter or else you’ll miss out on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Look at who is being interviewed. Are they CEOs of companies who have something to gain by telling you that you NEED this or you have to do that? Just think about it and spend wisely.

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One Response to Social Network Fear Spending

  1. Ken Shafer says:

    Looking back on this one, it sounds a little harsh. A little experience has given me some perspective here.

    For example, I still think that most people are not going to follow a company on Facebook unless you have something unique to offer them, and the company has to be careful how often it posts or else you’ll lose them. These days, I’m a little less skeptical of the getting a brand up there.

    My advice is still to watch who’s talking in these articles. Is it someone with something to gain by having you agree with them?

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