A study suggests that nearly half of Facebook users will never click on ads, making things less than favorable for those looking buy a piece of the site today.
With Facebook as one of the biggest tools for brands to connect with its fans, the number is quite jarring for companies that have invested the big bucks on Facebook advertising. Perhaps that’s why General Motors pulled $10 million worth of advertising from Facebook on Tuesday, citing that the service had not delivered effective results.
A question that has cropped up a good few times over the course of the last few years is whether or not social networking sites will ultimately win out over the humble weblog. Except people often use much more extreme language for this, so perhaps I should say will social networks kill blogging. Well, no, I don’t think so. In some ways they’re probably helping blogging (in the classical sense) along its evolutionary journey. And here’s why.
Rather than examine the role new technologies and platforms can play in improving customer relationships and experiences, many businesses invest in “attendance” strategies where a brand is present in both trendy and established channels, but not defining meaningful experiences or outcomes. Simply stated, businesses are underestimating the significance of customer experiences.
Having decided to be more active on Facebook, Nate [Lanxon, Wired Magazine] stressed that just pushing an automated headline feed wasn’t good enough. On Twitter he said you can pretty much publish “Wow! Look at this!” and a link and generate click-throughs. If you do that on Facebook though, people don’t feel like you are actually talking to them. He made a vital point about the way that the Facebook newsfeed algorithm works. The chance of your content appearing increases when people interact with your content, and one interaction is likely to lead to more interactions.
Nate said that one of their key learnings was that having a presence on Facebook wasn’t about driving fans to Wired, it was about driving Wired to fans.
The problem is, the media is not built for relationships because our industry was born in a time of factories, not services. We rarely know who our readers are (and we still call them just readers or at best commenters, not creators or collaborators). We do not have the means to gather, analyse and act on data about their activities and interests at an individual level. Thus we cannot serve them as individuals.
Right now the social networking sites occupy a similar position to CompuServe, Prodigy, or AOL in the mid 90′s. At that time each company was trying to figure out how to become a mass-market gateway to the Internet. Looking back now, their early attempts look ridiculous and doomed to failure, for we have seen the Web, and we have tasted of the blogroll and the lolcat and found that they were good.
But at the time no one knew what it would feel like to have a big global network. We were all waiting for the Information Superhighway to arrive in our TV set, and meanwhile these big sites were trying to design an online experience from the ground up. Thank God we left ourselves the freedom to blunder into the series of fortuitous decisions that gave us the Web.
It’s been about a month now since I quit Facebook, and I am happy to report that I haven’t lost a single friend, nor have I missed out on a single important announcement! And I’m not terrifyingly annoyed at everyone I know every time I open my inbox! Hurray!