How Facebook is Hurting Marketers

Author: | Filed under: Facebook, Social Media | 7 Comments »

A bold statement. But it’s true, Facebook is actually hurting marketers, our revenue, our business, and in turn their own revenue. Not intentionally or directly, but indirectly through lack of enforcement.

Let me elaborate.

Over the past twelve months, I have seen a dramatic increase in Facebook pages that are violating Facebook’s contest guidelines. How many times have you seen the infamous “Like and Share to Win” post as entry to a contest? I’ve seen it more times than I can count. It is UNBELIEVABLY aggravating.

So why do I blame Facebook? Isn’t it the page owners responsibility to adhere to the regulations? Absolutely! Page owners are responsible for what they post. But Facebook is ALSO responsible for the lack of enforcement of their own regulations.

Sure, there are millions of Facebook pages, so how can we expect them to enforce this rule on everyone? Well, if they’re able to enforce a 20% text rule on images, and are able to recognize spam, why the heck can’t they develop a better way to detect and prevent pages from doing the “Like and Share to Win” strategy?

Here’s how you, Facebook, is hurting us marketers, agencies, and consultants. By not doing a better job of enforcing this regulation, you indirectly devalue our services. When we try and secure a budget with our clients for ads, contest platforms, etc, so that we can run a campaign the proper way, they question it because they see that John Doe’s business down the street managed to get 5000 fans on their page using the “Like and Share to Win” strategy.

Yes, as marketers it’s our duty to inform our clients on the legitimate way to run these campaigns, but truthfully, they don’t care. All they’re concerned about is how they get from point A to point B while spending the least amount of money. Make sense, and I don’t blame them.

So Facebook, can you please either enforce this rule better, or remove it altogether so that we all can use it?

What do you think? Should Facebook remove this regulation? Or should they be enforcing it better?


Breaking the Facebook Speed Limit

Author: | Filed under: Facebook, Social Media | 14 Comments »

Picture this.

You hop in your car for a business trip. You need to drive to the nearest city to meet clients. You’re on the highway, and as a good law abiding citizen, you follow the speed limit.

About 30 minutes into the drive, you noticed that the other vehicles are going considerably faster than you, thus breaking the speed limit. So you decide to join in and speed up. You’re running a bit late anyways, so it’ll be good to get to your destination a earlier.

Then, 15 minutes later you see the good ‘ole red, white, and blue lights flashing.

Busted.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why You May Be Losing Fans, Even If You Didn’t Buy Any

Author: | Filed under: Social Media | 5 Comments »

I’ve always been a firm believer in the “trial and error” process. Test something first to see if it works.  Well, with all the buzz going on about the removal of fake “Likes” and inactive Facebook accounts,  I’d like to share a different perspective on how you may be losing likes.

First off, I want to be very clear. I am TOTALLY against the purchase of “Fake Likes” to boost numbers and “increase” social proof. And I also understand the temptation to want to do so especially when your competitors have a visibly larger audience base on Facebook. But a fake audience is worse than no audience at all.

With that said, I’d like shed some light on how some of you may have been losing “Likes” even though you’ve never bought them. How do I know this? I’m experiencing it myself.

Awhile back I tested out a SAAS (software as a service) called Twiends for free. There are others out there, but unlike these other sites, the premise of Twiends is to offer an ethical community building platform (similar to Triberr), but for Facebook and Twitter. Its focus is to help you grow your community by helping you promote your Facebook page and/or twitter account to other like minded individuals, by increasing visibility through incentives called “seeds”.

Here is their official description. Keep in mind they no longer offer this for Facebook since Facebook’s TOS changed quite sometime ago.

Twiends provides introductions to people looking to develop their social network on Twitter. We use seeds to create the incentive for people to check each other out. When you follow someone they give you seeds, and vice versa when they follow you. You can decide how many seeds you want to offer per introduction, and when you run out you remain on the list so people can still check you out if they like. We focus on making the introduction, and you focus on deciding who you want to be friends with in the long run. We are not a “get followers fast” site or a follower train. You get to choose who you ‘friend’ and they get to do the same. Our focus is community building.

They firmly believe in remaining a platform that follows the rules (hence they’re statement of ethics seen here: http://twiends.com/ethics ), which is why this appealed to me. I saw this as a complementary means of building my community without having to solely rely on Facebook ads to reach a wider audience base.

 

Out of my curiosity and “trial and error” mindset, I decided to try this out for a few days . Through that timeframe I did notice an increase in fans that appeared legitimate.

So I thought…

Fast forward a few years to today, and I am beginning to think otherwise. So far, the page has dropped approximately 50+ Likes (when I started counting), which could also be spam accounts I may have attracted when running Facebook ads. They may also be inactive accounts. But I have a feeling that the Twiends platform is the main cause.  I question if those “fans” were not just folks gaming the system to get “seeds” or even spam accounts. If you have used Twiends in the past, you may notice a drop in your Facebook page membership.

Out of this experience, there are some lessons that I have learned which I’d like to share:

Don’t test with accounts you’re tied to.

First off, if you are going to conduct trial and error, don’t do it on an account that you are closely tied to.  In hindsight, I should have NEVER used my own page for this. This is a lesson I already knew too. But sometimes we don’t always take our own advice. :/.  Also, I initially was planning to have my Facebook page under my business name, and not my personal name.

Be very cautious of third party community building platforms.

As genuine as some third party community building platforms profess to be, you will always have those that “game’ the system. I recently expressed my discontent about this with the Social Media Masterminds community I am part of, and one of the members described it best this way:

Problem (with these platforms) is we never know how ‘authentic’ are those accounts. Like you said, never tried never know. Take this as a lesson…

I will say though, that Twiends has made every effort to be a legitimate platform. And I wouldn’t totally write them off. I haven’t used the platform in a very long time, so they may have worked out the “kinks”.

Own up to your mistakes.

On a personal level, I feel like I messed up, even if my intent was to build a legitimate community. The expression “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” comes to mind. Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but we need to guard our intentions just as much as our actions.

My intent was to build a solid community, my mistake was trying a new platform outside of Facebook that hadn’t really been “vetted”. Of course, I’m not going to beat myself up about this, because I do believe we need to make mistakes to learn. That’s where experience comes from. :)

Filter through your fans, and remove spam accounts..

You may not always be able to tell if a fan is a spam or inactive account, but there are some pretty good indicators.  It took me awhile to clue in, but now I can recognize bogus accounts from real ones. For example, if the “fan” has liked 2400 pages, yet has less than 5 updates on their wall, chances are it’s a spam or fake account.

One of the most important principals in social media is remaining transparent. This is why I feel the needed to write this. I’m humbled by the experience, but also wanted to make it known so that others can learn from it.

Have you ever done something in social media (regardless of how genuine your intention was) that backfired on you?