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Facebook Page Marketing the pros and cons

November 17, 2009

Facebook is not a very good marketing tool.

There, I got that out of the way. It’s great a connecting people to people they know. Under that, it can be a good tool for connecting them to things they also know (that’s where pages and groups and causes come in). But it has limitations. I once wrote a post about 10 things to do with a Facebook page, and I still think they are valid.

But it’s time to update this with ten things Facebook can, and can’t do.

10. Facebook can’t: magically get those people to fan the page. A website needs marketing to tell people about it. So does a Facebook page. If you build it, they won’t  come. True, Facebook offers a little more interaction with people. It still is a tactic with a built-in send to friend key (someone’s interaction with a page is broadcast to some of the newsfeeds of their friends), but that demands some initial friends. It’s a quiet place if people don’t hear about it.

(An exception to this rule is a company with a really strong brand. A really strong brand gets a steady stream of people, I’ve seen it)

9. Facebook can: turn a promotion into something a little more special. For example, Elf Yourself now allows you to add images from your Facebook page. This promotion from Land’s End interacts with a Facebook page (or other network) to pull content that makes the interaction better.

8. Facebook can’t: be a place to give away product on the wall. As participation sky rocketed to over 360,000,000 people (almost 10 times the population of Canada), the refined their promotions terms and conditions. Brands can still think of ways to give away product, but it can’t be for getting fans to write on the wall, submit photos or videos.

7. Facebook can: offer a microsite-like experience on the tabs. Target has a microsite inside of a tab. Coke does too. If a brand is launching a thing, in the future we most-likely won’t be launching them on unique Facebook pages, we’ll be launching them on Tabs inside brand pages. Thus, this page for a promotion, would simply be a tab on the brand page. Then, when the promotion ends, the fans aren’t lost. The tab simply is removed.

6. Facebook can’t: create awareness. People become FANS of a Facebook page. No one is a fan of something they haven’t tried or experienced. No one. The word fan implies knowledge or the thing. If there is no knowledge of the thing, there will be no fans of the thing. See #10 for more details.

5. Facebook can: be a place to poll your customers and gain insights into their behavior. With the right investment (see #10), a brand can build a room whereby people for like the brand can be asked questions about why they like it. It might be smart to turn over a Facebook page to a “director of Insights” or something with a planner structure. The ROI of the community is figured out not in interactions, but in insights gained. Something that more and more brands are going to be looking for in these fast-moving times.

4. Facebook can’t: work without a goal. Here we are, all the way at #4 and we’re talking goals. The 2 year goal of a Facebook page could be #5 above. It could be to drive traffic in store. It could be x, it could be y. It could be part of an overall strategy that works with print ads and radio spots that drives evangelism. It could be other buzzword bingo like goals, but it should have one. And, “because my competition has one’ isn’t a goal.

3. Facebook can: drive traffic in store. Brands can’t give away product or gift cards on the wall of Facebook anymore, but they can do it in store. If a brand has an in-store location, then give Facebook fans a secret password and let that password get them something special in store. Almost 2 years ago, Whole Foods gave away a Facebook only $5 off coupon. It was just $5 to be used in any way, no restrictions. If  fans come in-location (or on a website), is it easy to give them a Facebook discount code? Figure out a way to give your fans, AKA your best customers, a discount for their loyalty.

2. Facebook can’t: work alone. It’s not a lone gunmen. It needs help from the website (in the form of badges), e-mail blasts, ads…whatever. It’s not a silo, sitting in the wilderness collecting the 150 or so people who know someone who works on the marketing of the brand. If a brand decides to do a Facebook Page, it needs to work with other things. It might mean an ad drives people to a Facebook page instead of a website. It might mean something different, altogether. Figure that out as part of the goal.

1. Facebook can: be a nice new tactic in your marketing plan for 2010. It can do some wonderful things. Just set your expectations on something less than the top pages, and something a little more than the bottom pages. Be realistic, and Facebook can be a realistic tactic in your arsenal.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 12:37 pm

    These are the first time I’m seeing these kinds of numbers. Very interesting. It should have a profound impact of how we are further exposed to marketing ads i would think.

    • November 18, 2009 4:04 pm

      Thanks for the comment, but I don’t get it.

      What numbers? The amount of people on Facebook?

  2. Charlie Riley permalink
    November 19, 2009 11:35 am

    Did I miss something, in #3 you reference brands cannot give away gift cards anymore, is this a new FB development? Good insight throughout.

  3. November 19, 2009 11:52 am


    This is from Facebook’s TOC (linked to in #8). You can give away gift cards, you just can’t condition it on Wall posts.

    “You cannot: Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment or photo upload.”

    It was actually their working that inspired mine.

  4. November 30, 2009 1:10 pm

    Interesting comments. I think sometimes people here the new thing whether its Facebook, Twitter, or something else and try to capitalize on it – not fully understanding how it works. I agree with you that Facebook has pros and cons and I think that with PPC – it has more cons. I wrote a post about Facebook Ads as I was trying to determine if we should leverage them to promote our college.

  5. June 11, 2010 4:19 am

    btw FaceBook is now absorbing all internet into itself.. alongside with a website, everyone now has a facebook page… moreover they have started to sell templates for custom facebook pages.. like for example… there will be no Google soon 🙂

  6. January 15, 2012 12:25 pm

    Make use of myspace in your favor. Allow me to share 3 tips about how to utilize facebook to create gain in people to your web site.


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