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The End of FREE Facebook Marketing?

Discussion in 'Online Dealership Marketing Support & Best Practic' started by Ed Brooks, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Well-Known Member

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    The past few months - and the past week in particular - have brought a number of changes to Facebook. Facebook users have been grumbling about 'Timeline'. As HubSpot points out, one effect of 'Timeline' is "The life of a status update is diminishing. Fast." So your content, posted for free, will be seen by fewer of your fans.

    Next, Facebook is forcing business to convert to Timeline and thus eliminating landing tabs and like-gates, the mechanisms many dealers used to entice 'Likes'.

    The effect of all this is to make your free use of Facebook much less productive. But much like how Google has diminished the effect of 'Free' SEO and placed more emphasis on PPC advertising, Facebook has introduced 6 new Ad Formats saying, in effect, "If you want your content seen and shared, pay us".

    What are your thoughts?
  2. JQuinn

    JQuinn Super Moderator

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    Nice post, Ed.

    Advertising Rule #1 still applies: Fish where the fish are.

    But as good a time as any to change the bait, right? Let's face it: dealers have not been catching fish on Facebook. Some are on the lake... some may have even seen the fish on their fish-finder. One or two may have even reeled-in a stray catch or two....

    Soooo... when you say "less productive" above, I'm not sure dealers -- in General, not the outliers -- can be too much less productive than they are now.

    But there's still lots of fish-catching to do... still need to figure-out how to get 'em in the boat!
  3. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting Ed. This really shouldn't come as a surprise. It's only a matter of time before they figure out how to really monetize facebook.

    I like the new timeline feature, even with the cons of this new outline I'm glad they're bringing this over to Pages.

    As John says - "fish where the fish are". But "but are the fish biting?"...right...

    This is all about awareness. And I'm liking some of the initial numbers facebook is releasing "tests of the revamped format have bolstered engagement—which measures whether someone clicks on the ad—by roughly 40%, the source says. The likelihood a consumer will remember the ad increased by 80% and boosted the fan bases of the advertisers by 16%, the tests show."

    Latest survey by eVoc - 54% of Facebook users who “liked” the page of a brand or a company that sells a product or service said they were somewhat or much more likely to purchase from that brand. The study confirms that the most “liked” pages are for food brands, TV shows, music, movies and clothing.

    What..no car manufacturers or car dealers?? :)

    Then - According to a study from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, (an Australia-based marketing think tank) just 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook engage with the brands on the site. The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute study looked at Facebook metrics for the top 200 brands, and through an examination of activities such as “likes,” comments, posts and shares, the research group found nothing substantial to link a brand’s Facebook presence with loyalty.

    For every study showing the positive effect of advertising and engaging on Facebook (or another social site) there seems to be another study that goes against it.

    My favorite stat and ones that no one seems to go against - consumers "Like" you in hopes to get a special or discount.

    When the CMO Council asked Facebook users in Q4 2011 about their expectations after “liking” a brand on Facebook, the top expectation (67%) was to be “eligible for exclusive offers.”

    However, when the CMO Council asked marketers what they thought it meant when a consumer “liked” their brand page, a quarter of marketer respondents answered, “because they are loyal customers.”

    Much of this comment came from this article on eMarketer.

    IF you are going to advertise on Facebook and you're going after "Likes", you better be offering some exclusive specials, discounts and offers. Sorta against the grain of what many industry gooroos like to preach.

    Would it be so wrong to use Facebook for nothing more than Sales and Specials channel?
  4. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Well-Known Member

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    AdAge dug a little deeper into the Ehrenberg-Bass study in this post: Even Sexy Brands Struggle With Low Engagement on Facebook. They looked at brands that engender great passion amongst their consumers. Brands like Harley-Davison, Porsche, Ford Mustang, Jack Daniels, etc.. They did better, but still suck. And suck bad.

    I'm with you Jeff, the idea of getting warm and fuzzy like is a little silly. With the new ad formats Facebook just introduced, lets get back to moving metal.
  5. Kelly Wilson

    Kelly Wilson Super Moderator

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    :2cents: Most of our likes are current/loyal customers, friends/family, & local businesses. Though the rock may have moved an inch or 2, we are far from PPC - especially in FB's pond where there is a large backlash against ads right now.

    -Great quote of the week "FB's 4 ol ppl!" <--- think about that one

    Where are the baby fish? :google: + and the next new shinny thing...

    So who are you marketing to...how are you doing so...what's the better exposure...
    IDK if I could or would ever get $$ to spend on FB (but I'm FB OG-Original Group-when it was college only)
    1 person likes this.
  6. Sara Chaudhary

    Sara Chaudhary New Member

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  7. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Well-Known Member

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    I understand your budgetary restraints Kelly. My thoughts are whatever you have been able to get out of Facebook will be EVEN less moving forward without a budget.

    My advice, look at other areas where time, energy and effort will pay higher dividends; working for more and better reviews, writing high-quality, high-impact reviews, ect.
  8. emilymoore

    emilymoore New Member

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    I agree with not throwing a bunch of money at FB, however, we do still have a lot of people that say they like us. So I don't want to turn my back on it either. I think it would be more productive if our posts actually made it in front of our customers.

    Currently, without paying to promote our posts, they are only reaching about 100-150 people (out of our 1600+ fans/customers) So how do we get in front of the other 1500? Is there an "organic" way to get our posts into more of our fan's news feeds? If the quote below is the formula, then we should be able improve our reach with increased interaction...just thinking out loud.:dunno:

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