This weekend is the Super Bowl, and while I will be paying slightly more attention to the game because the Patriots are playing, my main interest is in the advertising. This year, I will be watching closely to see how many commercials drive to Facebook pages, in addition to or instead of, a website.
Because Facebook is clearly where so many brands are going these days. It reminds me a little of the “web rush” in the mid/late 90s when mainstream brands realized what many tech companies had grokked since the first browser in 1993, that the browser had changed the marketing equation for good. It was a little like a gigantic penny drop. Suddenly every brand had a website, and URLs were promoted everywhere.
Now it is Facebook. Everywhere. Marketing strategies built around Shares and Likes.
This makes me very nervous. Your marketing strategy should include Facebook. With its user base edging every upward to a billion, you would be foolish to not use the social network in your marketing plan.
BUT, your marketing strategy shouldn’t be a Facebook strategy. No matter how small or large you are, don’t put all your eggs, even just for a single promotion, into one basket.
Especially this basket, over which you have no control. All those fans you are spending so much of your budget acquiring? Your connection with them relies almost entirely on Facebook. Sure, you can sign them up for email lists and such, but the community aspect? That happens on Facebook.
And what Facebook gives, Facebook can taketh away. Not literally of course. But it can change its terms or add fees. I am not saying it will hold your brand hostage, but it could.
So, when you are integrating Facebook into your marketing strategy, think about how you can leverage its benefits while protecting your brand’s assets and consumer goodwill.