Friday, September 30, 2011

Facebook Marketing and the Dating conundrum

Marketers and advertisers who've respected and admired David Ogilvy and tried to get into social media marketing especially through Facebook pages should know one thing upfront - Till now their success in getting a million plus fans on their Facebook pages has not worked out as planned. It has been like a failed series of dates. To begin the explanation I'd like to pull a quote from the famous book, "Confessions of an Advertising Man"
"The consumer is not a moron.
She is your wife. Don't insult her intelligence"
We have a habit of following numbers to give us an indicator of our performance. The number of likes on Facebook gave marketers the perfect fodder. They acted like unintelligible creatures that simply grazed on the green pastures of social media to get those "likes". I might sound critical or even cynical of these creatures (including being a part of the tribe) but I have my reasons. Let's understand the dynamics of Facebook pages
1. What do you mean by getting a Like ?
A like on you Facebook page is like giving a walker on the street a pamphlet about your company. It's like giving a girl your phone number and asking her out for a date. The girl will pass a smile and either put your number in the dustbin or might want to have a re-look at it. If she does go with you on a date means she has liked your page. The first look of a fan at your Facebook decides whether she would come again or not. So the success of your Facebook page depends on whether she agrees for a second date. Sex on the first date is considered for brands such as Apple/Harley/Coca-Cola. Lets keep them out for a while.
2. The concept of re-like
When a girl actually likes a guy she would want to meet him again quite like the date no:2. The first date decides whether the guy would be meeting her again or not. Marketers are too busy throwing off their numbers or their Facebook page urls that they've forgotten about the second rendezvous with their Facebook page user i.e. their second date albeit a crucial mistake.
3. The Blabber page or the first date turning sour
The fact is that after the first date, the fate is sealed for most marketers. Present results show that it has been bad, actually very bad for marketers. Imagine which girl would like to be with a guy who says, "I have done this... I have done that... I have a great apartment, great job... Check my pics...Blah me... Blah me...". All the girl will tune into is "I suck... I am pompous... I am Mr. Blah Blah... ". This is what is precisely happening on Facebook pages. Brands talking only about themselves. A consumer already listens to more than 300 advertisements on various media channels the entire day. Give her a break!
4. Making the first date work
Imagine a conversation which ends with the girl thinking "There is more to this guy than just being a doctor... I think we can meet again".Eureka! Brands have to look into "Whats more to them". A Facebook page gives you that opportunity. They must try having a conversation rather than having a monologue.
5. Social Media is about successful dating
Good conversationalists end up hooking more people. A date with consumer needs to work. Social media is about disclosures and intimacy. Brands have a chance at being more intimate with their consumers. This opportunity should be used not to blabber, but to discuss and tell the world that there is more to you than  profit. The problem currently lies in being men. Men like to boast and Facebook has become a media to boast numbers. A Facebook fan has become just another number in the millions of numbers. It is time to give fans some importance.

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