Why Facebook Does not ‘Get’ Advertising
There is an inherent irony to be perceived when you become that which once derided and Facebook is now beginning to get it. It was Facebook’s adversary, Google, who used to be called once “One Trick Pony” and everyone thought that they did not ‘get’ search.
Facebook is finding itself in a similar situation now with a post-IPO dip in income and Wall Street analysts concerned that its sole product strategy (i.e. advertising) is making the company too vulnerable for investors’ comfort.
Its Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is on record regarding : “The basic idea here is that the best type of advertising is a message from a friend. Facebook wants to build the best tools to create ads that are social.” Good as this may sound it also highlights an inherent problem that Zuckerberg has chosen to overlook.
When you are on Facebook, you are there to hangout with friends, shoot the virtual breeze and catch up with family members and those who have been on your list for some time to catch up with. Your mental engine is set to ‘chilling’ as opposed to ‘working’ and the last thing you want, when you are in that mode, is to have someone walk into your mental bar and put a sale stall there.
It is this disconnect between what Facebook thinks its membership base wants and what the Facebook members themselves know they want that has led to Facebook Stores of major brands failing time and again. Similarly with advertising it appears that Facebook has failed to learn the lessons Google learnt as it matured its online ads product and is now busy making the same mistakes all over again. Click fraud was something Google took care of early in 2004 and the company never needed to shake down a customer.Continued on the next page