Facebook is Not a Marketing Platform! Here are 5 Reasons Why!

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Let me just start by saying that I am talking about Facebook as a “Marketing” platform, advertising is another story all together. As an advertising platform, whether on mobile or the Web, Facebook is well on its way to cracking the world of advertising, if I am judging by its most recent earnings call. Marketing? Not so much.

Here are five reasons a company, pretty much any company, should look to Facebook last among all the social tools available:

5 Consistency is Everything

One of the most important pillars of good marketing is of course consistency. Whether you are thinking about doing SEO or blogging, social media, or traditional marketing, you need to be consistent and you need a platform you can depend on. Facebook is neither consistent nor dependable. The UI and tools available to companies change on a very regular basis, as do the privacy settings, the user experience and the basic functionality, such as tagging people in your posts (why can’t I tag someone as a page admin again?)
I think you get the point. If you are a brand looking to market yourself, you should have a Facebook page because, well all the cool kids are doing it, but as for what you can expect to see from that page, lower your expectations and you won’t be disappointed.

4 Preaching to the Choir

Ok, maybe Facebook is not a good marketing platform, but for a good laugh, I know I can always count on it. And no, I don’t mean cat photos. I am referring to the way people try to use it to market themselves. It makes me laugh every day when I see companies giving incentive to like their page by posting something on their page. I feel like saying “Hey Einstein, you know who just saw that post of you asking them to like your page? People who already liked it.” All the promotion you can do on your page is directed at your existing fans, with almost no resources to increase that audience. Brilliant, Zuck, just brilliant.

3 Spam, It’s Everywhere

How are you supposed to reach new audiences using your Facebook page? “Um, ask for likes! Duh!” That is called a platform not optimized for marketing. If I have to ask you to like me, figuratively and literally, there is something very wrong. There is no effective infrastructure in place for a company to increase their audience. Yes, I can see when a friend likes a brand but I cannot see content from a brand I don’t already like. Unless of course that brand uses Facebook as an advertising platform, which like I said, is a completely different story. I am not offering a solution here but I am telling you that there is a very obvious problem that needs solving.

2 Show me the Money!

At the end of the day, monetization is a part of marketing. Whether the funnel that leads to a conversion is a short one or a long one, at the end of the day (sometimes the “day” is a year long), if the consumer is not taking out their credit card, you, as a marketer have failed. Now, again, no scientific study done, but I know for a fact that I have never, nor will I ever, buy something being sold on Facebook. Same is true for every person I have ever asked. In fact, not only do I not “buy” anything on Facebook, but any app or invitation of any kind I get on that platform is viewed with a skeptic eye. This was not a conscious decision, it just happened after I got my 4 bajillionth spammy message, which leads me to my next point.

1 Where’s the Correlation?

I never conducted a scientific study regarding the correlation between the number of likes a Facebook page has and the real engagement that page gets. Having said that, all the pages I check, with large Coca-Cola-like brands aside, have a very low correlation. What I mean is that all the brands I like on Facebook are relatively small companies that sometimes have hundreds or thousands of fans. The posts? Five, ten, max 50 likes/comments per post. How does that happen? I’ll tell you how, Zuckerberg has not figured out how to leverage his platform and vast audience to offer brands an effective marketing platform.

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