It used to be that we (brand folks) had an ability to build relationships and earn influence on the platforms (facebook, linkedin, twitter etc) and people chose to opt into the brands. They liked us and they chose to follow, subscribe, fan the brands.
We worked hard to build an audience, kept them engaged (sometimes entertained) and hoped that having a relationship would mean that our customers and the extended ecosystem would come to us for advice. Through this relationship, we would end up selling a service, product or two.
It was hard enough to change the way we market — (from broadcast push to relationship driven pull). We worked hard on Facebook and other related channels to build a channel to have an on-going dialogue with the customer.
Let’s look at the post-IPO Facebook. Shall we? Facebook’s new model charges brands a certain amount to reach X number of customers. The problem with this model is that it does not reach everyone. In situations where the customer, friend, fan wants to know what we are up to as a brand, they cannot know without the brand paying a certain $ amount.
Let me clarify, this is not to ‘gain extra followers’, or fans or to reach additional audience. This is not to run ads on the side of your personal profile. This is purely to have brand updates in the customer’s feeds, the ones that they chose to follow.
This also means that you brands no longer need to work hard to get your attention. We can just pay to get our ‘broadcast’ message to you. Will it work with you? Not a chance.
As a consumer, I will despise facebook sending me sponsored feeds. I will also start looking for an alternate.
I’ve written about this before, from digital strategy perspective, brands should do everything to not send traffic to facebook .
All that work to build an audience, spending time and resources to build a robust content and community program only to have it reach 2% of my audience. I smell a #fail in this new facebook model. Facebook would be more successful in charging brands to act as a non-intrusive platform that connects vs. being the social advertising delivery model.