March 27, 2012
Facebook to Marketers: “You’re Going About It the Wrong Way”
Throughout the history of time people have been applying their old ways to new media. That was the message from Facebook’s global brand manager, Paul Adams, at last week’s Signal Conference in San Francisco.
So what exactly does that mean? It would appear that historically for us, each time a new media was introduced, we tried using it in a way for which it wasn’t optimally designed. The telephone, Adams explains, was originally thought to be a fantastic solution to broadcasting. You’d dial-in, leave the receiver dangling, and listen along with all the others to the day’s broadcast. Things evolved and we found more practical ways to use the phone.
In the case of Facebook, marketers are trying to apply the ways they work with existing media, to how they use the social network. So what’s Facebook’s advice? Facebook shouldn’t be expected to expand its offering to include things like larger banner and pre-roll ads, and marketers shouldn’t expect it to. Facebook isn’t about instantly grabbing someone’s attention and immediately converting it into a sale. It’s gentler than that, and more about how we build relationships with one another in the physical world, through “many lightweight interactions over time.”
The power of Facebook isn’t in each individual share, but the aggregation of them over time. That’s what builds relatedness and that’s how it should be used in business. Adams said that blasting a large ad on Facebook defeats the nature of the medium. Use Facebook to build the relationship first, over time, and only then, market to them. The “hot spot” in the relationship is more towards the middle of it and later on, not at the beginning.
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