Is Facebook a Taker, or a Giver?
While general in their overall definitions, success and failure in marketing are principles that are often thrown around in discussions today. From examples of complete ROI domination to those who are setting money on fire, it seems that the public is most regularly treated to stories wrought with contrast and drama. While true in some senses, the world of marketing is unfortunately, often much less stimulating in that dramatic sense. In a personal contention, we believe that the ‘gurus,’ packaging and selling simple marketing ideology are not wrong in their fundamentals, but rather in the result they preach is to be received. This ‘get rich quick’ mentality is nothing new, rather it is something that is ages old. But, with the spread of social media in recent years, it has given rise to not only the demand for the product itself, but now additionally a demand for the celebrity that sells it.
We are not here to tell you that Grant Cardone has no wisdom to impart about the importance of nuance in social ads, rather that the ROI to be potentially generated from such a change is possibly overstated. The issue with Facebook, Instagram and any other channel is that they are a business first. This means that they are designed to subliminally taunt the consumer into spending more money, time and energy interacting with their interface. Over time, this can be dangerou
s as marketing dollars get lost in a sea of toggles, switches and buttons that often mean very little to anyone not experienced in the platform. The example we often reference to clients is Google Ad Words. This service traditionally entices users through a monetary voucher usable on their site. This usually convinces the consumer that they know and understand the platform, eventually leading them to figuratively set cash on fire. The only way to extract equitable ROI from the Google Ad words platform is to either have a very very specific product or an expert who knows how to best configure the complex platform for your needs.
Second, social platforms today are designed to increase dependency. Especially in the age of Amazon and other retailers, more and more businesses are becoming dependent on these middlemen to sell their products. While truly an equitable way to make money, this interdependence is damaging to long term branding and growth potential. Facebook specifically knows this, and does everything in its power to keep junior marketers and business owners utilizing their platform. If you are a fr
equent platform user, we would reference the increasing tool set available to marketers on the business manager. This is slowly cutting out the need to use targeting software, and other 3rd party platforms that are now all available on Facebook business manager. This sly interdependence trick eventually calls into question the mission and moral standing of Facebook. While designed to give in the short term, without proper e
xpertise, it is also designed to take in the long term.
So, what is the final verdict on social platforms in today's climate? Truthfully, this question is hard to answer in a broad stroke. While extremely beneficial in the short term to companies that are looking to gain market share, impressions and some conversions, it is limiting to all time growth. The restrictions on advertising, and publication forces and unwonted unity between advertisers in similar industries. This makes USP creation more difficult and transitively more expensive to both create, faster and eventually sell. While we believe that Facebook is a very strong tool to use, we also believe that your box needs to have more than just one tool.