Most brands have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but are they still relevant and the best place for your efforts? Several presenters at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore on Oct. 18 addressed this question and looked into the alternatives to Facebook.
If you ask author and marketing strategist Geoff Livingston if Facebook is dead, he will say, “It's loosing it's cool.” His fellow panelists say it's still relevant. All did agree, if you want to get your post seen by your fans (or even friends for personal use), you need “pay to play” and promote your post.
During a later panel, Marty Conway, Imre Marketing and Communications, said Facebook isn’t dead, but suggested we should not be thinking about the distribution channel, but about the content. He advocates using more visuals, photos and video.
Although he feels Facebook is still relevant for marketers, Mitch Arnowitz, Tuvel Communications, said many people are tuning-out ads. He feels Facebook will forever suffer a privacy perception problem.
Strategies and Insights
Facebook’s customer targeting is great, said Cary Lawrence, SocialCode. People are self-identifying, allowing for extremely targeted campaigns. She went on to say it is a nurturing platform, so you need to nurture and engage fans to get your EdgeRank score up. (EdgeRank determines whether or not your post will be seen in a news stream on Facebook.) She also noted the community benefits the brand, because fans of a page will convert to customers twice as much as non-fans.
The goal is not to just get followers said Brian Razzaque, SocialToaster. You can concentrate your energy on a different channel, and know you will still get secondary following on Facebook. Although the number of users is smaller, he said Google+ is huge for SEO, and the degree of engagement is quite high.
You need to find your audience, said Katie Roberts, Laureate Education, and she advocates using surveys. She noted her research for serving a new university purchased by Laureate Education, which serves mostly Hispanic students. She learned Hispanics check-in on Foursquare more than any other audience segment. Roberts advocated for experimenting with different platforms. For one of Laureate Education’s schools they created several topic-related Pinterest boards.
You should pick your content home-base (usually your organization’s website) and direct all traffic there. From the home-base, all content and platforms should complement each other.
In looking at your audience segment, Kari Mitchell, HZDG, commented that the older you get the more likely to click on an ad, versus younger users who are more likely to “like” a brand.
You can read the top tweets from the Summit on Storify.
Do you think Facebook is dead or dying?