Written for and Reposted from http://blog.label.ch
The most interesting thing I read all week in the myriad of information I digest was the posting for eMarketer titled Marketers embrace Twitter over Facebook with and insightful tag line “Follow me” replacing “friend me”? eMarketer reported that “Facebook may have recently passed MySpace as the most-visited social networking site in the US, but it’s facing stiff competition for the attention of social media marketers.” So why is it so interesting for me and why should it interest you?
Marketing and advertising in Facebook is problematic. In fact its inherent culture is anti advertising and its user base have in the past voiced disappointment and disapproval of the introduction of targeted advertising. There is an high emotional attachment to the service as it relates to sharing amongst friends, family, and having fun in a protected environment. They don’t want the intrusion or interruption by advertisers. They will choose whether or not they want to be associated to you. Marketers need to learn a new approach in social networks like Facebook. (In MySpace its a different commercial proposition, brands can advertise and “own” or design their own space. )
I do believe that in the classic brand ownership argument, Facebook – the brand, is owned by it consumers , not the other way round. Facebook does not own it users it provides a service to them . Its how the consumers adopt and use the platform and what the platform provides to them that makes it so successful. Facebook has to be very careful not to upset or dis-enfranchise its consumers or it will suffer dramatically. Selling out its user base to advertisers would lead to its demise. Brands and companies operating in this environment must also be mindful of “adding value” to their fan bases and inspiring some open and fun dialogue that piques their interest. Do not assume that its a broadcast channel for self interest. You have to ask why would you, or someone else for that matter, want to befriend a brand ? What is interesting for me is that Facebook fan pages represent an emotional not a rational connection and affiliation to brands. e.g. I love / like you therefore I want to be associated to you! If you offend this sensibility you will loose your most valuable asset, your loyal and emotionally attached consumer.
Companies that have a adopted a dialogue based publishing or open based communication practices like blogs are more likely to be actively involved in Twitter. They are using it for several purposes: company news, customer service, marketing promotions and even employee recruitment.
I used to think of Twitter as broadcasting or push publishing platform while trying to find a term of reference to describe it, but now that reference has changed. Twitter actually isn’t broadcast or pushcast its a “directcast” or “targetedcast” conversational tool which only reaches those who want that information, as they have opted to follow and receive these conversational or useful snippets of information. The relationship of association is the key. What is clear to me is that if you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, don’t say it. There was an interesting set of statistics released this week by Pear Analytics , based on a sample of Twits and they conclude that for the present:
- 40 % of Twits were in fact “Pointless babble” or dribble
- 37.5% were conversational
- 8.7% were of Pass Along Value.
The underlying warning I see in these figures is that those companies or individuals who use is it solely as an avenue for broadcast with content that has no value or conversational worth risk that their message will fall upon on deaf ears or closed eyes. Their followers will ultimately tune out and detract over time . This is not unlike the woes confronting conventional advertising today. Its not all about broadcast anymore, stop shouting, stop interrupting !!Tags: advertising, dialogue, fans, twitter. Facebook