Skip to main content

A Look At Facebook's Ponzi Scheme

I posted something yesterday on Twitter and on Facebook was favorited and Liked by senior executive at one of the world's largest retailers, an executive at a massive, global CPG and senior executives at agencies, respectively, so I'm going to repost it here to share it with you.

A little background, first: A lot of folks in the industry had been creating fan hubs long before Facebook went from being a college hook up site to the place where everyone over shares everything constantly. These hubs had analytics built in, rewards/points systems, mature communications tools, and an organized way of aligning data sources to truly manage customer data. Life was good because it kept true fans in a separate community, where only those people that love your brand could communicate with marketers and each other. Life was good.

Then along came Facebook Brand Pages.

As those of us who've felt the growing pains of the social network most of this won't come as a surprise. For those who haven't engaged in the Facebook Ponzi Scheme, get ready to open up your wallets.

Facebook for marketers is like the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" books: 

If you build a page here, not on your web site, for "fans", we'll give you rudimentary tools to manage and measure it. If you're dissatisfied with our garbage tools, you can hire someone full time and rent a bunch of startup tools to do it.

Once you've rented a bunch of tools to do it and built a team, you should make it worth your investment by advertising to grow your fan base. In fact, don't even bother sending anyone to your website -- just put our logo on all of your TV, print, web and mobile ads.

Now that you have all of your customers giving us their data, you should hire analysts to help you weed through all of that data. Don't worry, it moves fast enough that most of their quarterly reports will be outdated anyway. Oh, and most of these folks aren't really marketers, so you'll get back meaningless suggestions without any idea how to implement it. You might even want to bring in an agency, but not one that knows what they're doing -- just give the responsibility to the youngest person in the room at your current ad, PR or digital agency.

Now that we have your money and "fans", we'll hide brand status updates so that 3-7.5% are seen by the people you paid to drive to your page. But there's an easy solution to your problem:

You should advertise some more.


Popular posts from this blog

How to Rick Roll Someone

I've noticed a lot of traffic to my blog from a post I did on Rick Roll. In particular, people are looking for how to do it. So, without further adieu, here's a quick 1, 2, 3 on "How to Rick Roll Someone."

Pick your target. This should be someone not suspecting a peculiar link, email or heads up. Works great if you're the guy/girl in the office known for sending YouTube links via IM
Grab the URL. The YouTube video is probably the easiest to snag, because the URL isn't a dead giveaway. Sites that truncate URLs like SnipURL and TinyURL are handy if you want to send folks to
Pick your delivery method and send! IM, email, blog (wink!), what-have-you.

Please, feel free to get creative. Our programmers used a "Can someone test this site?" email to the office to Rick Roll the entire staff. Or better yet - send the URL along to unsuspecting family members as "Our newest family pictures!".

Another fun way is via conference or phon…

My first Facebook spam!

Well, that didn't take long. I was spammed twice today via my Facebook profile by someone named Andrea Rowe, saying that she likes my profile picture (flattery is my weak spot) and wanted to chat. She's promoting a site through one of the TinyURL-esque sites and let me know that her username is "foxy_hotty". Here's her follow up message:

hi there David, how's it going? i wanted to chat with you, but they don't have that here, whatever. if you'd like to, you can check out my other profile at my username's foxy_hotty. we can chat there, just dont mind the bad pics, lol. soooo, ya, see you i hope.

Yes, I edited the SnipURL ending because I refuse to give spammers free promotion or even worse, the click through. For those unaware, sites like SnipURL and TinyURL allow you to send truncated versions of URLs, which is particularly handy when you're posting URLs to your blog (formatting) or SMS-based tools like Jaiku and Twitte…

Fake Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers -- And the Implications for Brands

This post originally appeared on the Large Media blog.

There's been a lot of talk about Twitter followers lately, including both presidential candidates, celebrities, musicians and the like utilizing services to game their numbers. Specifically, a lot of the "Top 10" have been found to have a substantial amount of fake followers, in some case to the point where 70% of their following is either bots or inactive profiles. Most articles and infographics on the subject are telling, however with a little digging you can find out that there are also social media "experts" utilizing the service to give the appearance of bloated numbers. Intrigued, and given our rare propensity to tweet as an agency, we wanted to see what the fuss was about.

So we gave it a try.


In August we saw some ads on a third party Twitter "profile checker" site  saying they can send a thousand followers your way for $9. The process is pretty simple: select how many followers yo…