Let’s Get OFF Facebook!

facebook logoAOL-logoHere’s a bold Marketing idea: Let’s get off Facebook ! Now, why would we even think of stopping marketing on the site that has over a Billion active users? Because of a system they have put in place that may render them as inconsequential as AOL. Remember America Online? In the Nineties, they were the dominant business on the web, because of a bold marketing strategy, that eventually turned on them:

In the early part of the decade, they spent over $300 million in mailing CDs to everyone’s mailbox. At one point, 50% of the CD’s produced worldwide had an AOL logo on it, and they were logging in new subscribers at the rate of one every six seconds. Within ten years AOL rose to over 25 million users – an unbelievable number at the time – and they were the hottest company in the world. They began opening up new opportunities for brands to reach consumers. Companies raced to build up their AOL brand pages, and you would see “AOL” all over the commercials.

But eventually it fell out of favor (as every social network does), and lost users in droves. Those huge marketing investment dollars that companies made into AOL were wasted — because it was a “closed system”. All the data and user information belonged to AOL, not the companies who worked so hard to build it in the first place, and marketers realised that they were never going to either get control of those prospects, or would grow their sales. Today, Facebook have started doing exactly the same thing.

Companies love talking about their Facebook “Likes” and promoting their pages wherever they can. But here’s the problem, Facebook is starting to charge you to reach your own fans.

Facebook acknowledged it recently: Messages now reach, on average, 15 percent of an account’s fans. However, In a wonderful coincidence, Facebook has rolled out a solution for this problem: You pay them for better access. If you want to speak to the other 80 to 85 percent of people who signed up to hear from you, “sponsoring posts is important.” according to the monolith. They have, in effect, stolen the friends that you have, and are holding them hostage until you pay to get them back – this on top of you spending time, money, and energy acquiring them in the first place. If not enough people pay this outrageous ransom fee (and who would?), those friends will remain as Facebook’s property, hereby creating a closed system that you don’t own or control.

If you’re looking for awareness, then track visits, not “Likes.” If you’re looking for sales from repeat visitors, then use email marketing, not Facebook. You never know how long it will be around. If that sounds heretical, ask anyone who was online in the nineties about AOL.

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