How to Avoid the Facebook Flop

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Old school just doesn’t cut it anymore

As much as I’d like to dish out advice about which editing tools to use before posting selfies and how to increase feelings of self worth via Facebook, I’ll try to keep this blog  focused on the business side of things. The facebook flop refers to the large number of organisations out there that can’t seem to get a handle on this relatively new phenomenon. This could apply to many of the social media tools available, but I want to narrow it down in order to go into more depth.

If used effectively, Facebook offers an invaluable resource from which marketers can increase customer awareness, build brand value, establish a brand community and enforce or build the brand as a whole. Yet if treated as a mass broadcasting medium, the sting of flop will be felt.

Facebook is not about selling directly to customers, but rather selling indirectly. Hodis, Sriramachandramurthy and Sashittal (2015) highlight that there are two primary approaches by organisations trying to use Facebook to boost a brand;

  • Creating and maintaining a page
  • Paying for advertising.

From the authors’ studies it seems that Facebook advertising only receives a 0.2% click rate, which is far lower than the internet advertising standard for traditional banners which have a of 1% click rate. Then why do companies buy this space? Is it  because the pool of Facebook users is so large, that a 0.2% click rate still brings enough traffic to justify it. Or maybe it is because they haven’t yet progressed past old school marketing philosophies.

As Jay Baer, author of the Now Revolution notes, “most companies are looking at Facebook incorrectly, as a pure customer acquisition vehicle”. Baer describes this tendency as “preaching to the converted.” Facebook’s attributes lie not in attracting people to the brand, but rather harnessing the social power of fans and making them brand advocates through engagement with it’s page.

(Jay Baer interview: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/why-most-businesses-get-facebook-wrong/)

Value can be created for consumers through a Facebook page via interactivity with each other and the brand itself. Consumers these days want to be involved with their favourite brands and Facebook provides a great opportunity to allow this.

Here are a couple examples of pages which do this well:

GoPro

  • Allows users to post their GoPro videos and photos onto the page via the comments section allowing user generated content
  • Currently running ‘Ride of the Day’ competition, where users post videos of their road bike rides in order to win a trip to next year’s Tour de France.
  • Provides behind the scenes videos from GoPro athletes, allowing fans to feel more involved with the action sports world.
  • Post ‘Photo of the Day’, which has been taken by one of their fans

GoPro

Intrepid Travel

  • Has created an additional app allowing fans to search trip options which the company offers
  • Also features a trip review app, by which users can rate and review their experiences of the company’s product
  • Updates page with beautiful imagery taken on trips which the company has on offer.

Intrepid-2Intrepid-1

If an organisation decides to invest marketing time and money into the Facebook phenomenon, its main goal should be creating communities which encourage interactivity.