The Last of the Facebook Myths - Infographic

Posted on April 4th 2011

First stop on the social media strategy -  Facebook

There is a lot more to a social media strategy than Facebook. But it's nearly always the first consideration and for good reason. That's where the audience is. It has by far the majority market share of the social media activity on the web.

Global stats on top social sites in March 2011:

  • Facebook 71%
  • Stumble Upon 16%
  • Twitter 4%


UK stats on top social sites in March 2011:

  • Facebook 63%
  • Stumble Upon 18%
  • Twitter 8%


USA stats on top social sites in March 2011:

  • Facebook 64%
  • Stumble Upon 26%
  • Twitter 3%


Source: Statcounter Global stats.

So in a lot of cases, it's the starting point to convincing the business and building a successful social strategy. So what happens if you get stopped at the first hurdle. 'We don't have a social fit'. 'It's for teenagers' and so on.

In some cases you find that it’s not that Facebook is not a recognised channel. It’s just not valued enough because it’s a newer channel, so it’s more uncomfortable territory when signing off budget. Some questions surrounding credibility, to be in such a social channel and fear of the crowd. In these instances budget and business support can be non existent. I’ve put together a few of the most common objections that I’ve come across in this infographic, along with a few very honest answers.

Last of the Facebook Myths - an infographic

 

After the first hurdle, measurement is the deciding factor

Once you have got past the first hurdle. The last point 'proving return on investment' is without doubt the most contentious. If you have an ecommerce side to your business it's easy enough to put Google analytics in place to segment and tag your referrals from Facebook. Vouchers and other unique Facebook only tactics can also start to give you an indication of business value.

But it's the softer measures that are more difficult to to prove, but can be equally as valuable to your business. Sometimes the best way to get buy in, is to compare it to existing value metrics, used in other channels.  For instance -  each new 'like' (fan) has a value to your business. In the same way that capturing an opted in email address has a value to the business. Frequency of message / propensity to convert - is still valid.

Other softer value measures such as feedback, research and customer service can all be extra 'business value' arguments. Ultimately measurement and proof, is a much more detailed discussion and it's certainly not a one size fits all. But ultimately confidence and a successful leap over the first hurdle comes first.

Nick Bennett

Nick Bennett

Nick Bennett specialises in digital strategy and creative leadership. Over 16 years of experience. Head of Digital for a global startup. Managing partner and strategic creative director of an NMA top 100 digital agency. He's spent the last 16 years working in digital. Building, advertising, planning and running digital strategies for UK and global brands. Extensive experience in brand, acquisition, eCRM and social media marketing. Web technologies, product building, SEM and media planning. More from me at www.smilespread.co.uk or on Twitter @NickoBennett

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Comments

Posted on April 5th 2011 at 1:57AM
you still like the FB value-proposition in light of data that FB is twice as expensive and half as effective as online banner ads? which may grow worse after G's +1 captures interest? agree that FB membership data make it first consideration in current social media channel, but there are new entrants who more closely align with brand demographics and enable messaging with targeted groups.
Posted on April 5th 2011 at 5:46PM

HUH? How so is FB twice as expensive and half as effective as online banner ads?

Nick Bennett
Posted on April 5th 2011 at 8:25PM

Hi timop, interesting points you raise... although more focussed on ad placements and media spend, than the more general use of a Facebook fan page as part of a 'social' strategy.

There was a Webtrends survey that reported on Facebook ads performing half as well as standard display. Details on Mashable  http://mashable.com/2011/01/31/facebook-half-click-throughs/

But it's certainly not put the media industry off.
Facebook helped the UK online display advertising market grow by more than a quarter to almost £1bn last year (2010).... The IAB said that the spend on social media accounted for 14%, or £132m, of the online display advertising market – a year-on-year rise of 200%. - Guardian.co.uk

You can be very targeted with your Facebook advertising, more so than most standard display opportunities. With the exclusion of retargeting and perhaps Google content network. Facebook ads should not be the only consideration in a media buy. But once more the attraction of the BIG audience and the dwell time of Facebook users make it a very plausible option. So a CPC deal on FB should still be a very effective part of the mix. (With awareness benefits from all the extra impression too)

Be very interesting to see if Google +1 has a marked impact on Facebook audience trends. May just end up having more of an impact on PPC costs?

However, the Facebook value proposition is certainly more than ad placements. Your fan page can become a huge value add to your business in building and growing relationships. Certainly already part of an ongoing movement into a more social way of selling/communicating brand/product messages.

thamstead
Posted on April 19th 2011 at 8:54AM

Hello Nick,

A really interesting post. I work as a commnuity manager within the insurance sector - a sector that you wouldn't think that necessarily lends itself to facebook. But I have found that with genuine user driven content and legitimate interaction with our followers - has meant that we are getting more and more "likes" everyday. It's not easy work but if you stick at it - Facebook has a genuine value to most (if not all) business's. That said it can always be a challange to bring people around to this idea - the key is educating and informing people of it's role in the overall maketing mix.

Anyway - enough of my chitter chatter.

Thanks

Tim

Nick Bennett
Posted on April 20th 2011 at 9:59PM
Hi Tim, Thanks. And credit to you for sticking with it. I know it's not an easy task and takes serious commitment. But like you say, if you listen well and have an agile approach, you will find there is interest and appetite for a community in almost any business sector. Good luck with it. All the best Nick
Posted on April 25th 2011 at 2:54PM

The one myth that needs to be shattered is that Facebook is open.

It is clearly closed and has had the intention of being purely sticky website by coaxing people to believe that any link they click that is not inside facebook could be hazardous and they should proceed with caution.