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Jeff Gibbard is the President of True Voice Media. With keen insights on Social Business, Marketing, Relationship Building, Communications and Creative Problem Solving, Jeff has helped numerous business people see the value in embracing social tools and processes to drive business value.
Liz, nice to see you, it's been a while. Maybe we'll catch up at another conference. Anyway, my comment:
Here's my idea: Stop thinking of Facebook as even an option for marketing...because it's not. At this point, it's an advertising platform. Everything you just described in this article would be better suited to email marketing than Facebook. Creating good content for your individual audience and optimizing to their needs is the name of every game, not just Facebook. But only Facebook throttles organic reach. Quality content has less chance being seen on Facebook than anywhere else unless you buy ads of course.
And I'm definitely one of those people that would settle on "agree to disagree" because I've heard every explanation about why the algorithm is built the way it is, and all the pitches about how the newsfeed is designed for humans and it's all BS. Facebook has designed this algorithm for one purpose: control. Control = money.
If Facebook were really concerned about relevance the solution isn't a better algorithm, but better lists and filters. Make a friends newsfeed, make a page newsfeed and let people slice and dice it. Right now it takes 2 clicks to get to any list, or 3 or more on the mobile app. And there is no quick and easy way to filter any of them.
Facebook pages have every right to be upset, managers have every right to be angry, they were sold a bill of goods under false pretenses. I cannot fathom why anyone would stand up for Facebook when their goal is so clearly to drive ad revenue, not to deliver relevance.
Further, to address the "high quality content" issue: if no one sees the content in the first place, how can you know if it's high quality of just not being shown? Facebook doesn't even give the high quality content a chance to perform.
Thanks for commenting William. I agree with you but there's one big clarification I ned to make, I'm not advocating for making social networks a paid service. I'm advocating for additional and more creative monetization strategies. I'm not shocked that Instagram is selling ads, or Facebook or anyone else. It's big business. What I am dismayed about, is the lack of additional value that I would be willing to pay money for, that would add an additional source of revenue for these companies.
It's not about matching. Linkedin does both, they have ads and premium options, and they have the most successful IPO of the social media companies.
I agree with you that people are unlikely to leave any of these services over ads, but that's part of the problem. It will only make the problem more normal. Our social streams will become diluted with garbage.
Ever watch a television show without ads...it's amazing! The tempo of the show and the rhythm of the story is unbroken, it's beautiful. Now throw ads into the mix. Yes, we accept it, but we also take every opportunity (DVR) to skip those ads. Ads are very ineffective on the whole.
So rather than having these companies immediately turn to one single, mostly ineffective, and very intrusive source of revenue, I just wish we could see something better.
To clarify, I'm not saying to do away with ads entirely and I'm not saying ONLY charge for social networks. What I'm saying is that I find it sad to see advertising as the default monetization strategy.
Social networks should always keep the free option, and that could be ad supported. A pay wall would ruin the magic of social which is that anyone can freely have a voice and build an audience.
However, I think companies should be looking for alternative and more valuable monetization strategies. We don't often see anything besides ads but there is an enormous amount of money to be made from the marketers and pro users that want additional features, and data. I personally don't see many ads, I use ad blocker software, for me this is more about advancing the industry beyond the sad, one dimensional revenue source people largely ignore.
Linkedin Premium is a great example of added benefit. Slideshare Pro is the same thing. Evernote is a program I pay for even though I don't NEED to simply because I like the software and find it valuable.
The freemium model has been very successful all across the web, and I just wonder why we don't see more of it in social?
Sorry you've had such a bad experience on Linkedin Sam. I've found it very valuable. I guess it all depends on who you are connected to and how you use it.
I never pull punches. :)
Thanks for reading, glad you liked it.
Thanks Melanie. I agree that typically Facebook is challenging for a B2B company, however there are some companies that are knocking it out of the park of Facebook as B2B agencies. Marketo and Hubspot immediately come to mind. But they have an ad budget and a wealth of content. They've also invested the time in putting together an editorial calendar for Facebook. Finally, they also haver the resources to put a full effort behind any network they want. Most smaller businesses don't have the luxury or ad budget, content or staff.
We found that for us, and many of our smaller clients, Facebook is an uphill battle that simple wasn't worth the time.
Glad you liked the article.