Your brand’s success on Facebook depends on how you integrate social media into your overall marketing mix
In this ongoing series, Socialmedia.biz explores how brands can use Facebook more strategically.
• Part 1: How to run an effective Facebook campaign for $5
• Part 2: The danger of buying Facebook fans
Has your brand unknowingly placed limits on itself with its Facebook strategy? We’ve spoken to hundreds of brands — in particular, to the folks who are in charge of their Facebook presence. These companies included consumer packaged goods businesses, banks, retailers and more, all in a wide range of size and brand recognition. From those conversations, we’ve noticed that there are three primary types of individuals guiding their Facebook strategy:
- Brand marketer: This is most often a mid-level manager with responsibility for social and sometimes another channel such as SEO or advertising. They care initially about fan counts, and once their presence is larger, they want engagement. They don’t know how to measure engagement, which means they are not sure how to optimize in a scientific method. So they buy a number of tools and spend money, since Facebook and their ad agency tells them to, plus their competitors are doing it.
- Customer care manager: They see Facebook as an extension of the phone and email channels, which means the page is a complaints board that needs moderating. In retail, they can’t avoid customers who complain, so they spend their day responding to the wall. They also buy tools — primarily wall management. But as their presence grows, they can’t keep up, don’t have resources, and soon have a polluted channel. Without the coordination of other marketing channels, there is no branding power, just a reactive apology center. This person is usually lower level, as the brand hasn’t figured out a strategy for brand management and the integration of multiple paid and organic channels.
- Direct marketer: They are held to return on investment, just like their counterparts who manage pay per click or direct mail. They live and die by the holy metrics of conversion rate, margin, and ROAS (Return On Advertising Spending). Brand investment or nurturing of the customer relationship doesn’t matter, since every touch is measured by how many conversions happen immediately in that visit. So they continue to spend money on bottom of funnel marketing that is less about demand generation as opposed to demand collection. They don’t realize or pay credence to an early touch or recommendation that can lead to a sale later. This is especially true in B2B, which has a lengthy funnel. Attribution modeling is in its infancy, so this problem will linger for quite some time.
Recognize any of these three as your role? It’s like the blind men and the elephant. We met with a telecom company to discuss their social media strategy (name withheld to protect the guilty) and pointed out that customers were complaining in droves on their Facebook wall. Their head of customer care, the guy who runs the call centers, pointed at the social guy. But the social guy assumed that it was a customer care function. We see this all the time.
The fundamental issue is that social media is not just another marketing silo. Rather, it’s a layer that cuts across all marketing functions (and even beyond marketing). We feel bad for the company that appoints a VP of Social, unless that person’s role is primarily spent on coordination vs. execution. The moon doesn’t generate its own light — it reflects the light of the sun. Your social media channel doesn’t need to produce its own content, it need only leverage the power of your existing brand assets.
Your brand’s success on Facebook is a matter of how well you can connect people who love you in the real world — not Facebook fans, but real-world fans — to hit the Like button on Facebook. It’s hard to like something you don’t already know about. We’re not saying you can’t do customer acquisition with Facebook. Rather, we’re saying the first step is to harvest the low-hanging fruit of customers who already know you. And only then can you leverage the recommendations of those fans to drive new fans. This “friend of fan” targeting yields often a doubling of CTR (click-through rate), as we demonstrated in a study of 1,100 campaigns that we did in January. Continue reading