Facebook, the Holy Grail, of social media is a monster. Not only were they pawns in the last election their ads and integrated posts can be a disaster for brands. The more I learn about facebook, the more I am telling clients to beware.
Facebook said that it had messed up more ad metrics than previously thought, potentially eroding its trust and relationship with marketers and publishers. The social network said in a blog post it miscalculated the number of completed video views, the total organic reach for business Pages and the amount of time spent with Instant Articles.
There’s no question that social media is a huge worldwide phenomenon. But social media marketing — the idea that consumers want to “join the conversation” about brands and spread their enthusiasm for furniture polish and frozen chicken wings all over the web so “you don’t have to pay for advertising any more” — is about as dead as dead gets.
Time and time again Facebook has undermined its credibility by making claims that are easily proven to be false, and then defended these claims with statements that are absurd. This week it was reported that Facebook was claiming to reach 41 million Americans between the ages of 18-24. If Facebook reached every American between 18 and 24 they’d still be 10 million short. There are only 31 million of them.
But that’s just facebook PR bull…
I had a client up in Boston who was looking to grow his family business. They make ultra premium chocolate bars with high cocoa content. With an emphasis on POP and content talking about the benefits of cocoa we were able to gain distribution at some very high end retailers. The owner wanted a Facebook page which we developed, but also wanted customers to be able to post. That was a mistake.
Within a couple a weeks a troll started posting that the cocoa content was false and that the bars tasted awful. As soon as she put them up I deleted them after trying to reach out to her. Turns out that it was a former product manager for the company who had been fired for stealing. However, the damage was substantial as one high end retailer sent out the products to be tested for cocoa content and billed my client.
Then there are the counterfeit products which are springing up all over. I am an avid cyclist so I see ads for counterfeit bike gear from China all the time. The prices are low, but the quality stinks.
Facebook has too much power over brands and consumers. Until marketers start demanding more accountability from Facebook they will become the giant who crushes us…