Brands Love Facebook Fan Pages but Take Their Ad Dollars Elsewhere

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hms022001   10/17/2011 11:29:15 AM

Liz's article has some great defining insight. 

Mitch Wagner
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Re: Company picnic
Mitch Wagner   10/17/2011 11:21:53 AM

"Facebook is a company picnic." Very true!

Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli   10/15/2011 11:50:28 PM

Going public in 2012, eh?  Good to know; I had heard 2013 most recently.

Bubble or not, I can't imagine that stock not doing well both very short term and very long-term, as long as they don't let themselves get too distracted by Google+ (I admit I dislike the new Facebook interface).

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Company picnic
hms022001   10/15/2011 5:46:25 PM


Why Small Town Small Biz Has an Advantage at Using Social Media Tools

By Liz Strauss
Liz's dad at his cash register in the saloon


I grew up in a small town. My dad owned a saloon. I've been thinking a lot about his social networks and how they relate to what I do online. Truth is what my dad did with his cash register I do with my computer ... the biggest difference is the speed and reach of the Internet. And I believe that entrepreneurial view is what gives every small biz an advantage in establishing a web presence using social media tools. What I mean is that small biz entrepreneurs soon pick up that ...

·                     a website is a store. If we keep it organized, clean, and focused on our key business, our customers will be able to find what they're looking for in no time at all. They'll want to buy from us because it's easy and efficient.

·                     a blog is conversation over the counter. If we put out information that answers questions and solves problems, the people who shop in our store get interested in us and what we know. When they have a problem of their own, they'll bring it for advice. When they have a solution, they'll add to the knowledge base, and our blog will be come a meeting place like the old general store or neighborhood coffee shop.

·                     LinkedIn is a professional group, like the Chamber of Commerce  It's our chance to connect with people who run small businesses like ours, but also who run organizations and enterprises that are very different as well. We can join groups, ask questions, share expertise when we show up.

·                     Facebook is the company picnic. Our families and friends are there with us. Business is more casual and more about sharing events and news.

·                     Twitter is the world's largest networking event. If we join the room with a friend, soon that friend will introduce us and we'll conversations with people we could never have met any other way.

Every small town entrepreneur knows that no business thrives without being part of the community that we serve. Social media tools simply stretch that community to give our business some visibility to the world. How do you use social media tools to do the same things online that you've done offline for years?

Liz Strauss is the founder of
 SOBCon and the author of She writes about branding, social media, and entrepreneurship.  

Photo of Liz's dad at his cash register provided by Liz. 
She says he grew the mustache for the town's centennial celebration in 1953.


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Hey Mitch. Exactly my point. Well said.

It's good to be here and part of the community.

Mitch Wagner
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Re: It All Comes Down to Intent
Mitch Wagner   10/13/2011 10:23:46 PM

@BrettRelander - Good comments and welcome to The CMO Site. 

The Internet is like a small town, and Facebook is the country club where people go to let their hair down. It isn't a place of business ... but lots of deals get closed on the golf course of that country club. 

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I think it all comes down to "what is your core intent?" Many different strategies can work on many different marketing channels, but if you're not taking the time to outline your objectives and most importantly the purpose for those objectives, you're just rolling the dice.

In reference to Facebook, I think it's important to evaluate what Facebook is and what it's not for most companies. At its core Facebook is a social networking platform that allows people and companies to begin, develop, and cultivate relationships through instant communication and sharing of experiences. For most companies it's not an effective ecommerce platform.

Facebook can be used to drive sales but most people don't go there to buy things, they go there to interact with other PEOPLE, even if those people are the ones behind a brand. This is why it's important for brands to let the people shine through. Most couldn't care less about Ford, but they will always buy Ford trucks based on their relationship with Dan at the local dealership. For brands that "get it" this in-person relationship building can easily be taken online and help expand communities and sales.

This is another reason why, when doing advertising on Facebook, Sponsored Stories should be your first choice. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations so using sponsored stories will allow you to appeal to people and grow your "Likes". The more people who like your page the more people you can interact with, build relationships with, and build customer loyalty for your business. After all, repeat customers are the foundation of any successful business.

To put it simply, Facebook is a tool and step in the process of making a sale but not necessarily the place where the sale will be made.

All comments, soap box speaches and rants are welcome.


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My Experience
smkinoshita   10/13/2011 11:21:46 AM

I'm not sure why brands would want to drive traffic to their Facebook pages, but I'm not going to short-change their strategy as I don't know their whole plan.

In my experience however, Facebook ads have improved quite a bit and when they hit their mark can be pretty effective.  They're not inexpensive however, and the support is pretty weak.  There seems to be a lot of hidden elements in how ads are priced and served up that I'm not easily finding explanations for.

The Facebook ads that performed the best directed people to the page (as opposed to a corporate landing page), and the shared stories seem quite effective.  The more soccially effective one's Facebook marketing strategies the more effective the advertising seemed to be.

I do know that Facebook has been making it harder and harder to use their platform for marketing without buying into their advertising though.  Without paying for advertising, a brand's reach to its fans is limited to the whims of the update algorithm.

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