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31/03/2012 - The Milestone, When Fb Dropped The Ball On Business.

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The new changes that have been rolled out by Facebook and the way in which these changes were rolled out I think has finally convinved business to NOT ENGAGE more and more with the world's favourite SNS. Or rather, to take a step back and evaluate a little more seriously the balance of power.


We've moved from "let's embrace get into bed with FB", towards "let's embrace it but drive to our website".


Already the idea for a business investing its time in a Facebook profile for which they only have cursory control and are subject to Facebook's whims and changes of what they consider important (what was the cost to business for the 31st March roll-out?) was scary. But to me it seems that Facebook thinks that companies depth of engagement is now all about visual content, as any examiniation of the new page format will reveal.


My question is this: How deep an engagement can you get when it is all about visuals, and where comments and likes are collapsed to numeric values. The "Engagement" to people not already familiar with the group It turns into visual eye candy (the image) plus social proof factors as the convincing mechanism for people to "engage or not". In fact, when you actually start to analyze the "depth of engagement" and code the issues that are raised through the commenting feature you've got to ask whether the "engagement" ROI even covers the full-time staff members wages.


But then really all this talk about "engagement" is really a lot of rubbish, because the goal of FB is to get you to like something, and by so doing pool your interests collectively with other, for the purposes of advertising profiling. Look at any FB change through this filter and it soon becomes clear.


So, thanks to FB new rollout I have much greater luck saying to business "leverage Facebook for what it is - a great advertising platform, but put your own business assets at the heart of that strategy and spend".


What's great about FB is that it has educated business about the potential for viral SNS and that makes it much easier to explain to businesses because they are already up to speed. So thanks to FB for that.


What do others think?




ps. I have also noticed that when you watch a video as an application this is automatically added to your timeline, but can be removed after watching it. Don't like this, but I'm weird I guess.

Edited by DonnaFontenot
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I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Facebook may have got it wrong with their eye-candy approach, Glyn, but I think there's a much bigger question for corporations to consider when trying to use social media. Social is about societies and people. You really have got to work at that one-on-one level to make it work. Each interaction on Facebook is like a private party. You don't want some corporate shill muscling his way in and trying to get our attention.


I'm still not sure whether Google Plus will work but at least Google got that bit of the equation right. All Googlers were encouraged (even with their bonuses) to get involved at the personal level. However if it is the personal level, you don't want to eat and breathe Google, Google, Google. Comcastcares showed the right way when he started trying to respond one-on-one to customer beefs. However that effort was unsustainable. You have to have a very special company and team to make these processes work. Perhaps it can only be so for a smaller enterprise.

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One of the problems that I see with FaceBook for business is that the one-on-one interactions do not scale for many businesses. If you have a small staff and a website that gets millions of visitors you could easily double your labor costs by increasing your staff to the level needed to service the one-on-one FaceBook interactions. The money spent on that extra staff will not generate income.


Now, if you want to see a hideous example of a big company doing a crappy job on facebook just go to Amazon.com's facebook page... http://www.facebook.com/Amazon


There you will see how they toss up a few untended "deals"..... then fail to respond to a huge number of customer concerns... and today they have a LeapFrog learning product for very young kids described as "fool around with this"... and the visitors are insulted with that "fool around" language. Amazon could have edited it promptly if they looked in on their page once in a while. Great example of how not to run a facebook page. Amazon is trying to use their method for "scaling" sales in an environment where you need to invest staff if you want to participate at some level superior to being a joke.

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EGOL, well you cite Amazon as doing a crappy job, but let's say their outreach on FB is simply about getting eyeballs then this FB page could be a result of analysis that this is what works best at the time. However I don't think this is the case as you point out.


It's a great example because what you describe (lack of customer care, something which I think Amazon lead on in other channels) is at odds with their business practice and thus indicates that some part of the puzzle is missing.


Don't worry though because my book is going to make everything clear (and I'm not even a guru!).



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Interesting, glyn....


I'll bet that you are right.... Amazon has a person take two minutes a few times per week to slap an item on their wall. So many people look at their FB page that they make enough sales to more than pay for the employee time.


It has a very high ROI but it is not an example of how to engage your FB visitors.


I would like to know how many companies who are pouring a lot of employee time into FB are actually making more money as a result. My guess is that it is pretty low.


I think that there are a lot of social media evangelists thumping their FB Bible and companies are simply following because they think that it would be sinful not to.

Edited by EGOL

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I,d just port it out of the system, forget the person completely !

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