‘Why Facebook Is Failing Marketers’ — Forrester Study



As a digital advertising option, hundreds of savvy marketers rank Facebook last in “business value” according to a critical Forrester Research study.

The study ranks Facebook last among 13 digital options by 395 marketers in the U.S. and Canada, reports Kristin Burnham, the senior editor of InformationWeek.com, in her Oct. 30, 2013 article (Facebook Ads Fail Marketers: Report).

Ms. Burnham explains Forrester’s study:

“Respondents were asked to rank how satisfied they were with the business value their company achieved. Social sites including LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus and Twitter all ranked above Facebook.”

As a result, she reports Forrester’s recommendation:

“A scathing report from research company Forrester advises marketers to ditch Facebook advertising in favor of other marketing opportunities. Although the social network has potential to redefine marketing, it said, Facebook has failed to do so. As a result, it creates less business value than any other digital marketing resource, it concluded.” 

She indicates Forrester also took an unusual step:

“Nate Elliott, report author and principal analyst at Forrester, wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explaining why the social network fails to impress marketers and advising him on what Facebook needs to do to win back advertisers.”

Marketers say Facebook creates less business value than any other digital marketing opportunity

My sense is that Forrester and the 395 marketers are right. Here are nine tips to evaluate online advertising options.

From the Coach’s Corner, not convinced about Forrester’s warning about Facebook?

Here are more Biz Coach warnings:

Facebook Draws Fire for 6 ‘Stubbornly Childish’ Behaviors — Facebook continues to incur the wrath of critics. This includes a six-point indictment by a leading professional publication, AdAge.com. It’s a daily must-read for advertising professionals. AdAge columnist, Simon Dumenco, posed this question: “Facebook Under Siege: Will It Ever Grow Up?” 

Marketing – Why Visual Content Works on Facebook, but Hashtags Don’t — Ninety-eight percent of top brands have a Facebook fan page, but Facebook’s hashtags don’t enhance engagement with consumers. That’s one of two salient conclusions from an analysis of top-brand experiences from marketing on Facebook. What does work is visual content.  

Facebook – Fewer Users, Drop in Consumer Satisfaction and Share Price — Get out the black balloons for Facebook. True, as a new public company, its stock made a bit of a comeback in 2012 after announcing plans for more mobility to keep users happy. 

Is Facebook Approaching the End of Its Product Life Cycle? Yes — If you’re a prospective Facebook stakeholder looking to profit from the social-networking site – as an investor or major advertiser – beware of all the Facebook hype. Facebook appears to be approaching the end of its product life cycle. 

“For a truly effective social campaign, a brand needs to embrace the first principles of marketing, which involves brand definition and consistent storytelling.”

-Simon Mainwaring


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 





Marketing – Why Visual Content Works on Facebook, but Hashtags Don’t



Ninety-eight percent of top brands have a Facebook fan page, but Facebook’s hashtags don’t enhance engagement with consumers. That’s one of two salient conclusions from an analysis of top-brand experiences from marketing on Facebook.

What does work is visual content. That’s according to a 2013 Facebook study by Simply Measured, a Seattle social-media measurement company, which issued a press statement.

Sixty percent of the companies post at least once a day.

Twenty percent of their Facebook posts use hashtags. But the companies have discovered visual content with photos result in 95 percent of their engagement with consumers.

Overall, photos posted by top brands average more than 9,400 engagements per post, while video posts average more than 2,500 engagements.

Facebook has made significant changes to benefit brands and users: Redesigning its news feed to improve how visual content is displayed, and introducing clickable hashtags that allow brands to provide additional context with their posts.

Simply Measured saw no measurable change in how hashtags influence engagement.

These posts perform as well as posts without hashtags, suggesting that people are not yet discovering brand posts by their tags.

The study evaluates brands and verticals in the Interbrand 100, identifying key trends and strategies shaping the way companies engage with consumers through social media.

Key findings:

Length of posts matter.

Analysis of more than 500 status updates from the top brands shows that the longer a status update is, the less engagement it typically receives. However, if a status update is too short (less than 50 characters) it may not be long enough to capture viewers’ attention or provide the necessary context to drive engagement.

Not allowing fans to post on walls hinders engagement.

Twenty-nine percent of top brands do not allow users to post on their wall. For these brands, engagement on their page is limited to likes, comments and shares on brand posts, resulting in 15 percent less engagement than brands that do allow user posts.

However, brands that don’t allow user posts have 71 percent more fans.

Top brands take different approaches.

The top 10 most engaging brands average 19.8 million fans (more than twice the 7.9 million brand average) and average 2.5 posts per day. A large variance exists in the number of times brands post, demonstrating the different approaches brands take to serving content.

Facebook, MTV and Coca-Cola top the list.

Facebook claims the top spot with 93 million fans, followed by Coca-Cola and MTV with 68.6 million and 45.8 million fans, respectively. When it comes to overall engagement, only MTV made the leader list, following behind Disney, Ferrari and Intel.

Automotive brands dominate the top 10.

Automotive brands are taking advantage of their fans passion for high quality car photos, posting more frequently than other brands and receiving nearly twice the Interbrand average per post engagement. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Harley-Davidson and Audi USA all rank among the top 10 in engagement.

To analyze any Facebook profile for free, visit: http://simplymeasured.com/freebies. Simply Measured also offers free reports to measure your success on Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and other platforms.

From the Coach’s Corner, more social media tips:

Government Warns Business in Ruling Against Costco on Social Media Policy — Many companies encourage their employees to promote their offerings and services on social media. But beware, it was bound to happen: The trend has caught the attention of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which can dictate your social media policy.

How Small Businesses Can Profit from Cyber Strategies Yes, it’s become important for small businesses to capitalize on cyber strategies for profit. Small and even regional retailers should be cognizant of three realities.

UCLA Psychologists Tell What Triggers People to Share on Social Media – Buzz. Marketers, senior managers, business owners, and consultants crave it for revenue. Career-minded individuals engaged in self-promotion also want it. Another term for buzz is the “salesperson effect.” For the first time, we learn how ideas are spread, what messages go viral on social media, and how to predict it.

How Twitter Levels the Playing Field for Small Cap Companies – Good news for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who are known to kvetch that that their companies fall below the radar screen of Wall Street analysts and the media.

“For a truly effective social campaign, a brand needs to embrace the first principles of marketing, which involves brand definition and consistent storytelling.”

-Simon Mainwaring


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net 

Facebook Draws Fire for 6 ‘Stubbornly Childish’ Behaviors



Facebook continues to incur the wrath of critics. This includes a six-point indictment by a leading professional publication, AdAge.com. It’s a daily must-read for advertising professionals.

AdAge columnist, Simon Dumenco, posed this question: “Facebook Under Siege: Will It Ever Grow Up?”

It doesn’t look like it.

Summer Fun

Harsh criticism

“Despite Facebook’s Harvard-dorm-room roots, the company’s M.O. is more stubbornly childish than post-collegiate,” he wrote in a January 2013 issue.

“Think of Facebook as a self-absorbed, petulant brat, one that doesn’t understand how to play well with others – users, investors, partners, competitors,” he explained.

His six criticisms:

1. The social medium showed its true colors as being anti-social when it provided privacy shortcuts for account-holders, but then quickly squashed the service.

2. Facebook uses “shifty (if technically legal) tax-dodging practices.” He wrote Facebook employs a disingenuous technique called the “Double Irish.”

Excluding its U.S. revenue, Facebook’s global advertising revenue is funneled through Facebook Ireland, which launders money and moves it to the Cayman Islands. This means Facebook’s non-U.S. revenue $1.34 billion in 2011 had a tax rate of .3 percent.

3. Facebook’s Instagram tried a new Terms of Service form of chicanery, but was forced to cancel it. The policy meant Instagram could sell your pictures without paying you.

4. Facebook is an undesirable business partner. It works to maximum its profits by constantly “changing the rules of the road for partners.” Mr. Dumenco cited Zynga as an example of being victimized by Facebook.

5. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was allegedly part of the Poke coding team, which is accused of ripping off the Poke app by modeling it. Poke “…lets lets users send self-destructing texts, videos and images…”

6. Facebook joins Amazon in refusing to use the advertising sector’s Ad Choices, which is the accepted ad-privacy program. This means advertisers must spend an inordinate amount of money and time to address privacy issues.

For more details, you can read Mr. Dumenco’s column here.

From the Coach’s Corner, I’ve tried to keep an open mind about Facebook, but as a business-performance consultant I’ve had my doubts. (Disclosure: I do maintain a small presence on Facebook merely for SEO reasons for this portal, and I recommend other businesspeople do the same – if Facebook starts showing maturity.)

Here are some of the Biz Coach articles that mention Facebook:

Why Facebook Is Failing Marketers’ — Forrester Study — As a digital advertising option, hundreds of savvy marketers rank Facebook last in “business value” according to a critical Forrester Research study.

9 Tips to Evaluate Online Advertising Options Are you at a point at which you want to advertise your company on the Internet? But you’re unsure which sites are the best for you? The options are endless and can be confusing. The last thing you want to do is to market a product or service that doesn’t reach the right people.

Government Warns Business in Ruling Against Costco on Social Media Policy— Many companies encourage their employees to promote their offerings and services on social media. But beware, it was bound to happen: The trend has caught the attention of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which can dictate your social media policy.

Facebook Privacy: Advice for Job Seekers and Employers — The practice by some companies to require job seekers to reveal their Facebook passwords so they can spy on the applicants’ private information prompts a couple of Biz Coach reactions: For job applicants and companies.  For job seekers:  Any company that would require disclosure of your Facebook password is an undesirable employer.

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

-Potter Stewart


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 






Facebook – Fewer Users, Drop in Consumer Satisfaction and Share Price



Get out the black balloons for Facebook?

Facebook has finally climbed above its IPO price of 2014. Investors finally see what they want from Facebook — a focus on monetizing mobile.

However, its user-rate and consumer satisfaction ratings have been dropping, according to two authoritative published reports.

File:Facebook.svgOne reason for Facebook’s decline appears to be the popularity of Google’s social network, Google+.

There are other reasons – this business-news portal has been critical of Facebook, but more on that later.

The two reports show:

— Facebook may be the world’s largest social network, but its number of users began dropping in the first half of 2012. About the time of a report (Facebook Falls as Use on Social Site Drops), by Capstone Investments, Facebook’s share price dropped nearly nine percent in two days.

— A report (Facebook down, Google+ up with customers) indicates Facebook’s consumer satisfaction score has dropped in 2012 by eight percent. That’s from a survey of 70,000 consumers by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index and Foresee, an analytics company.

According to a Capstone analyst, Rory Maher, the report on Facebook’s user-decline shows two developments:

— The number of U.S. users declined 1.1 percent.

— Worldwide in Q2, the social network showed little growth or a decrease in 14 countries where it had at least a 50 percent market share.

“This could be an issue for Facebook growth since we estimate that outside of Southeast Asia and some countries in Latin America, most markets are approaching 50 percent penetration,” the report quoted Mr. Maher.

ForeSee says Facebook’s consumer-satisfaction decrease was ostensibly prompted by increasing privacy concerns and dissatisfaction with its Timeline feature.

“Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration,” said ForeSee’s President and CEO Larry Freed. “Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now.”

The American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Facebook with a 61 – among the lowest of 230 ranked companies. On the other hand, a news release said Google+ won a 78 score because of its mobile product and sans any advertising.

The average for all social media companies was a 69. Twitter held a 64 and LinkedIn followed at 63. These mediocre scores confirms a warning published in this Biz Coach column: Despite Hoopla over Social Media, Web Searchers Stay Longer.

Facebook’s demise is not a surprise – note these articles:

Is Facebook Approaching the End of Its Product Life Cycle? Ostensibly, Yes. — If you’re a prospective Facebook stakeholder looking to profit from the social-networking site – as an investor or major advertiser – beware of all the Facebook hype. Facebook appears to be approaching the end of its product life cycle.

Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways — Facebook is well-known for its privacy and security issues. I’ve written multiple articles about social media and how it can harm businesses, especially when employees are not trained about using it on your company’s computers.

Still, some companies can make money via social media, and it teaches businesses valuable lessons in understanding customers.

From the Coach’s Corner, for additional columns about Facebook, see:

“Our head of social media is the customer.”

–McDonald’s

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Is Facebook Approaching the End of Its Product Life Cycle?



If you’re a prospective Facebook stakeholder looking to profit from the social-networking site – as an investor or major advertiser – beware of all the Facebook hype. Facebook appears to be approaching the end of its product life cycle.

True, Facebook has 1 billion+ users worldwide and appears to be in the proverbial catbird seat. However, urgent caution is advised.

“You can’t be serious,” you’re probably thinking, “Facebook is huge.”

ID-10067882 nokhoog_buchachonFirstly, consider: Facebook needs advertising revenue to sustain itself.

However, Facebook keeps self-destructing with highly questionable practices by incurring the wrath of the advertising industry and other stakeholders. (See: Facebook Draws Fire for 6 ‘Stubbornly Childish’ Behaviors.)

In addition, a 2012 report revealed that social media, especially Facebook, only delivers 1 percent of an e-commerce site’s revenue (See: Social Media vs. Traditional Online Marketing – Where’s the Money?)

Furthermore, the seemingly constant Facebook buzz appears to be masking some serious red flags, especially, if you’re a major investor or marketer counting on it as an advertising medium Why?

Published data indicates Facebook is showing signs that it might have advanced too far along its product life cycle (PLC) for you to reap a significant return on your investment.

A PLC, of course, ranges from the time when a product is introduced to market to when it’s no longer viable because of what the marketplace considers superior competitors.

The PLC stages:

  1. Introduction
  2. Growth
  3. Maturity
  4. Decline

In marketing, the PLC is important. In the introduction stage, sales are insignificant until the branding takes effect. Think in terms of a bell curve.

The steeper the slope of the growth stage, the higher sales revenue you enjoy.  Maturity is the stage when a product achieves saturation. Decline is just as the term implies.

Recent data demonstrates that a savvy investor or marketer would want to think twice about Facebook. That’s because Facebook appears it’s in the downward slope of its PLC curve in key markets. Yes, as amazing as it seems, Facebook appears to be already in its PLC stage 3 of reaching maturity – en route to stage 4 of a decline in popularity in many of the world’s most-important markets.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

-Albert Einstein

The first red flag about Facebook’s PLC appeared in this headline: Facebook Sees Big Traffic Drops in US and Canada … –Inside Facebook

“Most prominently, the United States lost nearly 6 million users, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of it,” wrote  Eric Eldon. “This is the first time the country has lost users in the past year. Canada also fell significantly, by 1.52 million down to 16.6 million, although it has been fluctuating around that number for the past year. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, Norway and Russia all posted losses of more than 100,000.”

Strangely, Inside Facebook reports the social networking site grew. But how?

“Most of the new users continue to come from countries that are relatively late in adopting Facebook, as has been the trend for the past year,” explained Mr. Eldon.

Facebook later denied it’s losing members in North America and Europe.

Facebook’s demise is illustrated by other indicators.

WebProNews originally published some eye-opening data from YouGov BrandIndex covering Jan. 3 to June, 13, 2011, which shows Facebook has had some serious erosion in word-of-mouth. (Note: In my experience, WebProNews articles should be taken seriously.)

To determine its Buzz score, which can range from 100 to -100,  YouGov BrandIndex asked respondents: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

In compiling the answers, the firm’s Buzz rating is then determined by subtracting the negative response from positive. Equal negative and positive responses lead to a zero score.

The eye-opening YouGov BrandIndex scores:

  • Adults, 35-49, the Jan. score of 28.5 plummeted to 10.4 in June
  • Adults, 18-34, the Jan. score of 36.2 dropped to 22.7 in June

Meanwhile, consider Twitter’s success as reported in this NewsFactor Network headline, Pew Study Finds Meteoric Growth in Twitter Usage.

“A meteoric rise in Twitter usage has been reported by the Pew Research Center, even though only 13 percent of online adults use Twitter,” stated NewsFactor Network in the article’s summary. “Pew also found that about half of Twitter users access the service on mobile phones, and African-Americans and Latinos have high Twitter adoption rates. Twitter expects more growth with photo sharing.”

In my experience, Facebook does not work in B2B advertising. Understand, however, if you’re marketing anything, you still need to maintain a presence on Facebook to keep your Internet ranking strong. Facebook’s marketing strength is B2C.

But if you’re counting on Facebook to generate a strong return on your advertising investment, my sense is recent indicators are not positive.

Still not convinced?

Now, a 2014 Princeton study concludes Facebook will look 80 percent of its users by 2017. Researchers, using a model that tracks infectious diseases and what happens when they die out,  predict the demise of Facebook.

Their conclusions were based on the number of times Facebook is Googled. Facebook reached its peak in December 2012, according to Google Trends.

From the Coach’s Corner, if you’re determined to advertise on Facebook, here are 11 tips to make money on Facebook.

Things are not always as they seem.

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon at www.freedigitalphotos.net


11 Tips to Make Money on Facebook



Depending on your type of business, the jury might still be out over whether Facebook can you help you make money by making the cash register ring. But some advertisers are increasingly investing in Facebook.

Websitemagazine.com is a must-read for any Internet entrepreneur. Its newsfeed on May 23, 2011 included 10 optimization tips for merchants and reasons to use Facebook’s “like” button. I have to agree. (However, before you get too excited about prospects via Facebook see the warnings below in the “Coach’s Corner.”)

Here are the first 10 of the 11 promised optimization tips:

1. Allowing users to add comments will significantly increase the number of clicks on the Like button

2. Display Like buttons at both the top and bottom of your posted content

3. Clicks increase dramatically when Like buttons appear near videos, images, infographics and other visual content

4. Like buttons that display thumbnail images of friends will receive three to five times more clicks than versions that don’t

5. Ask questions of users on your Fan pages, such as “Would you like …?” and “Would you prefer … ?”

6. Post fun and interactive content such as games, trivia questions and polls

7. Incorporate coupons and discounts on your Wall

8. Post time-sensitive content and relate to current events

9. Post videos

10. Include links to additional content

As promised, here’s my 11th tip to profit from Facebook courtesty of VatorNews: It’s best to update your Facebook wall on Tuesdays.

From the Coach’s Corner, before you jump on the Facebook bandwagon, know that your Facebook page feeds will be assessed a fee for each of your fans.

Here are other warnings about Facebook:

Winners and Losers in Facebook’s Invasion of Google’s Turf — The world has been buzzing about Facebook’s achievement over Google. Harness the power of Facebook, but don’t let it make your Web site irrelevant.

Marketers: Instagram Beats Facebook, Twitter and Google+ — Study — Instagram is beating Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in brand engagement — making money for marketers, according to two studies in 2013. SumAll study  Though marginal in brand-performance results, the SumAll study compared the data of 6,000 customers using social media. U.S. companies enjoyed revenue increases of 1.5 to 3 percent thanks to Instagram.

‘Why Facebook Is Failing Marketers’ — Forrester Study — As a digital advertising option, hundreds of savvy marketers rank Facebook last in “business value” according to a critical Forrester Research study. The study ranks Facebook last among 13 digital options by 395 marketers in the U.S. and Canada.

Marketing – Why Visual Content Works on Facebook, but Hashtags Don’t — Ninety-eight percent of top brands have a Facebook fan page, but Facebook’s hashtags don’t enhance engagement with consumers. That’s one of two salient conclusions from an analysis of top-brand experiences from marketing on Facebook. What does work is visual content.

Facebook Draws Fire for 6 ‘Stubbornly Childish’ Behaviors — Facebook continues to incur the wrath of critics. This includes a six-point indictment by a leading professional publication, AdAge.com. It’s a daily must-read for advertising professionals. AdAge columnist, Simon Dumenco, posed this question: “Facebook Under Siege: Will It Ever Grow Up?” It doesn’t look like it.

Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways — Why Facebook is becoming more of a threat in marketing. Use due diligence to capitalize on Facebook.

Is Facebook Approaching the End of Its Product Life Cycle? Yes — If you’re a prospective Facebook stakeholder looking to profit from the social-networking site – as an investor or major advertiser – beware of all the Facebook hype. Facebook appears to be approaching the end of its product life cycle. True, Facebook has 1 billion+ users worldwide and appears to be in the proverbial catbird

“The Internet is the trailer park for the soul.”

-Marilyn Manson


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Winners and Losers in Facebook’s Invasion of Google’s Turf


It was a big deal when comScore data indicated back in 2010 that cyber citizens spent more time on Facebook than the Google sites.

Cyber citizens spent an aggregate 41.1 million minutes on Facebook — 9.9 percent of their search-time. That beat the 39.8 million minutes, or 9.6 percent, on all of Google’s sites.

It was a major catalyst for Google to create Google+. It’s noteworthy because Google, of course, is the leading search engine and has Google News, Gmail and most-importantly, YouTube.

In my experience, Google+ is now a proven asset in marketing.

However, regarding Facebook, it would appear there are questions to consider:

  1. What should businesses do in marketing on Facebook?
  2. What precautions should businesses take to make certain their Web sites are not obliterated by Facebook?

To maximize the marketing investment, businesses should consider establishing a Facebook page.

But don’t count too heavily on Facebook or other social media for sales. Facebook and other social media only drive 1 percent of e-commerce sales. A study shows a strong presence on Google’s search engine will better increase your odds for income.

But for a Facebook presence, Website Magazine’s Linc Wonham published some basic tips:

    • Set goals for your Facebook page and monitor your progress
    • Make your page interesting and informative, and update it as often as you can
    • Promote your Facebook page on your business website and elsewhere; add a Find us on Facebook button wherever you can
    • Reward your Facebook Fans with discounts and special promotions
    • Create a Facebook user group that will be of interest/useful to your audience
    • Join other Facebook user groups that pertain to your industry or niche
    • Take advantage of Facebook’s tools; track your success with Facebook analytics

“Businesses can add a Facebook Place to their Facebook Page, or the two can be combined,” according to the writer. “The result of either option is getting your company’s address, map, phone number and other data in front of Facebook’s massive user network and giving them a way to share the information with friends.”

Mr. Wonham specifies the benefit:

“The result of either option is getting your company’s address, map, phone number and other data in front of Facebook’s massive user network and giving them a way to share the information with friends.”

His tips for Facebook ads:

    • Be as specific as possible with your keywords and demographic selections
    • Use compelling images, titles and copy in your ads
    • Make your ads as interactive and engaging as you can
    • Frequently update and refresh the images and copy for better results
    • Be vigilant about testing your ads and monitoring the results
    • Bid high to get your ads approved faster by Facebook
    • Start with CPC ads if you have a very small budget, otherwise CPM is the better bet
    • Use Facebook Ads Manager, which can be downloaded and installed on Firefox

Warning: You might as well know that advertising professionals are increasingly criticizing Facebook for being obnoxious (see: Facebook Draws Fire for 6 ‘Stubbornly Childish’ Behaviors).

That’s not all. There are two additional dangers to Facebook marketing:

  1. Facebook tends to supersede the importance of your Web site in the minds of cyber citizens.
  2. The most successful companies achieving success on Facebook have done it by slashing prices and offering coupons.

For more on this angle, see this article: Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways.

But always remember the best mediums to drive cyber citizens to your Facebook page and Web site — broadcast advertising and strong PR — the ultimate keys to your marketing mix.

To target credit-worthy or high net-worth customers, broadcast news and authoritative business Web sites are especially your best bets.

So, harness the power of Facebook, but don’t let it make your Web site irrelevant. You want to dialogue with consumers on your own turf. Use these measures and you’ll be a winner in Facebook’s invasion of Google’s turf.

From the Coach’s Corner, consider reading: 11 Tips to Make Money on Facebook 

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.”

-Eric Schmidt

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways



Facebook is well-known for its privacy and security issues. I’ve written multiple articles about social media and how it can harm businesses, especially when employees are not trained about using it on your company’s computers.

For example:

3 Studies – New Concerns about Internet Security

5 Safety Measures to Thwart Mounting Social-Network Attacks

Facebook raises the specter of two other ramifications for business: Facebook is becoming more of a threat in marketing. That was my sense after reading two articles in AdvertisingAge Magazine, a must-read for the advertising profession, in Aug. 2010.

Consider the two headlines: What Happens When Facebook Trumps Your Brand Site?” and “The Top Five Brands on Facebook.”

First threat

What happens when Facebook becomes more relevant than your Web site?

“…the social network has quietly become something else: the biggest relationship-marketing provider for many brands,” wrote Jack Neff.

He pointed out 37 Facebook pages had a million or more fans even though most Web sites have difficulty attracting 100,000 visitors. That means, of course, Facebook has been outperforming their sites.

For example, Mr. Neff cited Coca-Cola with 10.7 million Facebook fans, but its Web site’s unique visitors dwindled to 242,000 unique visitors in July, 2010.

The danger is that all these people are identified with social media, which is owned by Facebook. Brands have to pay to advertise on their own Facebook pages, and Facebook collects all the revenue.

Starbucks may be one of the rare companies to have a strong Facebook and Web site presence.

Second threat

At AdvertisingAge, Matt Carmichael wrote about the top five brands on Facebook. But it appears their top ranking was for dubious reasons.

“According to new research from ExactTarget and CoTweet, it’s pretty simple: coupons and free stuff,” he explains. He reported the top five: Oreo, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, iTunes and Dove.

This means Facebook users are less likely to experience the branding of your Web site.

So, it’s imperative protect your brand by not cannibalizing it to the extent that it has less power than Facebook.

Use the necessary due diligence in strategies to use Facebook to drive traffic to your Web site. Or, you’ll pay the price.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles on promoting your Web site:

Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed — If you want to increase your odds for Internet success, you might consider priming your Web site. Priming is a method to motivate users to make decisions when they visit your site. I gather the term was coined by the inventor of a testing tool that enables Web-site owners to obtain reactions to their sites.

Startup Toolkit – How to Make a Hit on the Internet — Just like your bricks and mortar location, your Internet presence will be strong if you always remember why people will buy from you.

5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site – Study — What do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study. Those are the salient lessons from a 2012 study by Searchmetrics, a search and social analytics firm.

5 Tips If Your Web Site’s Traffic Slows in Summer Months — Traffic on the Internet slows in the summertime, according to Website Magazine. Here are five strategies to maintain your growth.

Worried Your Web Site Losing Visitors? Best Practices to Fix it — If your site’s visitor numbers are falling, there are five possible reasons. The key is to know what’s wrong before you start applying solutions. It used to be that Web-site owners only had to worry about losing traffic in the summer.

“A brand name is more than a word. It is the beginning of a conversation.”

-Lexicon


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Facebook’s Popularity Drops in U.S., Canada and Europe, but Inches Toward Highly Valued IPO

Updated – June 14, 2011

Many analysts believe Facebook is now set to go with its widely anticipated initial public offering in Q1 2012. What’s astounding is Facebook has lost ground in North America and Europe, but analysts are predicting a valuation as high as $100 billion.

A Web site, www.insidefacebook.com, reported the irony regarding Facebook’s popularity in this article: “Facebook Sees Big Traffic Drops in US and Canada as It Nears 700 Million Users Worldwide.”

It explained where and why Facebook lost members in the month of May:

  • U.S. lost almost 6 million down to 149.4 million
  • Canada dropped by 1.52 million to 16.6 million
  • UK, Norway and Russia each lost more than 100,000

Ostensibly, Facebook’s privacy issues are having an impact.

So, why is Facebook growing? Inside Facebook indicates the site gained 11.8 million users among Third World populations that have recently started warming up to the thought of using the social networking site.

Meantime, many marketers started allocating more of their budgets for Facebook ads, according to a report in Website Magazine, www.websitemagazine.com, as early as Aug. 2010.

“Two years ago the big brands were experimenting with us,” Website Magazine’s senior editor Mike Phillips quotes Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “They started buying with us a year ago. Now, they’re going big.”

Mr. Phillips writes that she claims the social medium’s top advertisers are now investing 10 to 20 times more dollars.

“Facebook appears to be positioning itself for an IPO in 2012,” confirms Francis Gaskins, a widely quoted and respected IPO expert. “Here’s an interesting article.”

If Facebook is inching toward its initial public offering in 2012, shouldn’t it show it’s making profits from ads.

So, what about Facebook as a marketing tool?

“For most companies, it’s not yet completely clear whether Facebook ads are truly effective at generating quality leads or increased conversions/revenue,” Mr. Phillips astutely points out. “What is clear, however, is that Facebook continues to grow its user base.”

He says research firm comScore reports Facebook has overtaken Yahoo as the nation’s No.1 display advertiser.

“Now might be the time to get involved in Facebook advertising,” suggests Mr. Phillips. “Prices have remained steady, the website is still the hottest property online and you can expect those prices to increase sooner than later. You can run a few simple campaigns on the cheap, look for results and optimize in no time at all. There is plenty to gain here.”

As a business-performance consultant, I concur. To quote my good friend, Cork Platts, now a retired Los Angeles marketing guru, a basic marketing tenet is “test, test, test.”

For me, that’s especially true when it’s an inexpensive marketing investment. But be careful to get a return on your investment, and don’t cannibalize your brand. I wouldn’t want a Facebook presence to trump my Web site. Facebook should merely part of overall marketing. Consider:  Winners and Losers in Facebook’s Invasion of Google’s Turf.

Meantime, my biz coach sense is that an IPO with a $100 billion valuation doesn’t make sense for a social networking site that’s lost ground in the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe, especially when we’re not sure about its revenue.

Such a high valuation on dubious earnings is reminiscent of all the hype and countless failures in the dot.com bust. Was it that long ago?

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related social-media resource links:

Mr. Gaskins’ resource links:

(Note: Mr. Platts is also founder of Consultants West, www.consultantswest.com, an association of veteran consultants that meets regularly in Los Angeles. Mr. Gaskins is also a member, and I’m proud to be associated with them.)

Privacy is dead, and social media hold the smoking gun.”

-Pete Cashmore

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Microsoft and Bing: The Hits Just Keep on Comin’

 

June 7, 2010

At the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote speech introducing the iPhone’s facelift was big news. The buzz leading up to the rollout was deafening. Any time Mr. Jobs makes a presentation, it’s exciting for Apple aficionados.

The big news was supposed to be all about Apple when Mr. Jobs unveiled the new-look iPhone 4. With 16GB and 32GB capacities, it’s priced at $199 and $299, respectively. It’s 25 percent slimmer than its predecessor. It has twice the picture resolution, and has a computing brain with video-chat function. It will be sold in 88 nations.

As expected, Google is the iPhone’s default search engine. But wait, here’s some surprising news – a big secondary angle is that Bing is a search option on the iPhone. Now we know why we’ve heard rumblings in recent weeks about meetings between Apple and Microsoft.

“…Bing will be included as one of the search engine choices within Safari on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and within the Safari browser on the Mac and PC,” announced Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president at Microsoft, in a blog according to CNET.

“Needless to say, we are excited that Bing will be included as an option in Safari because it will make it easier for you to search and get the benefits of Bing,” he added.

“In addition, we are continuing to improve our existing Bing mobile application for iPhone which makes it easy to search, map, and find commerce and movie times,” Mr. Mehdi said. “We will have a new release with even more great features very soon. For those of you that have not already tried it, you can find it in the App Store today.”

Microsoft’s track record in partnerships is really terrific. Indeed, in its first year, Bing also scored by being the search engine for Facebook and Verizon phones.

And I’m not certain it’s getting full credit for its successes. Depending on the research firm, Bing is credited with a 10 to 11 percent market share. (But based on this Web site’s visitor’s data, Bing’s share appears to be at least 50 percent higher.)

It’s also worth noting Google has been tinkering with it home page appearance, including offering an option to change the background. To use football-announcing vernacular, “Is Google hearing Bing’s footsteps?”

From the start, Bing has been offering colorful, informative schemes. For my SEO taste, Bing has a more objective search process compared to Google’s quirky approach. And I love the Bing mouse-over option on the news videos.

Frankly, I don’t get it when I’ve read bloggers’ posts about Microsoft having a so-so year. The company has had a stellar year in forming partnerships. That’s an excellent lesson for any company.

So regarding Bing’s progress, as I used to say as a young rock ‘n’ roll DJ working my way through college, “The hits just keep on comin’.”

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s more on the new iPhone.

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.