• Michael Weeding

Facebook – Good for Consumers, Bad for Marketers?

When General Motors announced yesterday that they were pulling their ads from Facebook calling them ineffective this was a big news story driven by the fact that GM spend over $1.8 billion on advertising each year, not because they were the first organisation to pull their advertising from Facebook.

It has been accepted for a while that Facebook is great for consumer but bad for marketers. This argument was highlighted in a recent post by Nate Elliot of Forrester where he noted that Facebook have never paid any attention to marketers and have focused only on the user experience, as a result Facebook have never been able to develop an advertising model that brings in massive revenues to match their advertising base.

The argument in Facebook’s defence is that their focus on customer experience is why they have been adopted by over one billion people worldwide and they have not been able to find an effective revenue model as they want to avoid advertises ruining their unique experience by throwing intrusive ads over the site.

The truth is that it is not about Facebook and their advertising models but the quality of the marketers who want to use Facebook. Marketers need to find a way to use and measure social media, according to Stefan Olander, Nike’s marketing boss who has just co authored “The Seven Laws for a World Gone Digital” stating organisations have to move away from click and likes as measures. Too many businesses are thinking I need to sell something rather than adding value. You do not need to look hard to find businesses that are promoting the success of Facebook, although when you look deeper these businesses are not talking about the success of their advertising but the results they have achieved from building advocates to their brand.

The message to marketers is very clear, they should focus less on advertising and more on what they can do to help people, Michael Lazerow the Chairman and CEO of Buddy Media noted that “Criticising any platform is easy. Much easier, it seems for many advertisers, than organizing internally and publishing compelling content”. I look forward to both marketers and agencies being more creative in their approach to Facebook (and Social Media) in the future.


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