Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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 Don't worry, it moves fast enough that most of their quarterly reports will be outdated anyway.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.

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