Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marketers are still unsure of Facebook

One quote caught my eyes the most when I scanned through my Twitter Timeline.

Selling things on Facebook is like selling things in a bar.

It was a statement by Gilt Chairman Susan Lyne.  Gilt was one of the early adopters to set up Facebook store, but the store was a flop.  It turned out that there were other marketers sharing similar sentiments about Facebook as advertisement platform.  Check out more damning quotes from this BusinessInsider article.

Facebook users are logging on to connect with friends, family and people around them.  But when it comes to discovering a new product or finding a good deal on products, Facebook users are not responding to them the same way as Google ads.

Why?  I think the answer is rather obvious.  We log on to Facebook as if we log on to webmail.  We use Facebook as a communication tool.  When we open up our Facebook, we are scanning the page for updates from friends.  

Contrast this with Google search experience.  When we search for something, we are looking for something.  We are lot more open to discovering something new then looking for a specific answer.  My guess is that click-through rate of Google ads will be higher than webmail and Facebook ads for that reason.

Lyne's comment is spot on.  People go to bar to hang out with people and have fun.  The last thing they have in mind is to look for the best vacation deal available.  Even when they were looking to take a vacation, discovery becomes a distraction when people are hanging out with each other.

Then what should Facebook strategy be?  Sell something that people will buy at a place like bar.  I remember running into a couple of single-rose peddlers making their ways around at a night club.  That's exactly what Facebook needs to sell.  It has to be something that will encourage social interactions with each other.

This is what Facebook needs to sell;
products that people can use to enhance their communication.
I'm sure these girls grabbed many visitor's attention...

Facebook is already on this idea.  They are launching Facebook Gift store where users can buy sub-$50 gifts for someone's birthday for example.  It makes perfect sense.  People need to find out something that they can quickly grab and exchange to connect with their friends better.

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