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May 31, 2012

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AdrianKnoll

Great post. Wish it would be easier to convince the big bosses that this is the right way to attract positive attention and that marketing nowadays is a two-lane road and not just one.

Thanks for the great words!

Louis Gudema

David - interesting thoughts, as always, but I would not put this into an either/or category. Social media advertising is one form of social media marketing and can be used very effectively to build followings, promote special online events and sweepstakes -- and promote that free content.

Advanced online marketing is integrated marketing - it includes content marketing, online advertising (on social and other sites), social media sharing, SEO, SEM, PR, email marketing, etc.

Louis Gudema
Overdrive Interactive

Nathan Gilliatt

It's not a good sign for Facebook if companies find the free part useful and the paid part not useful.

Stephen Krcmar

Great post, David. Lots of thought provoking ideas. I really like Louis Gudema's response, too. Facebook advertising is a great way to acquire new customers and brand journalism is an excellent way to keep the brand front of mind with fans.

Teds027

Very well said David.

I certainly believe you can find success on both sides of the lane but only when you fully separate them apart -- social can not be about the same metrics as you use in advertising and advertising can not be to pump up your social presence counts if you expect to actually build a dialogue, following or spread of content.

Rachel Kay

Good post, and I agree there are many elements to a successful Facebook marketing program outside of advertising. Where I differ in opinion (and agree with Louis) is that advertising on Facebook is not begging your way into the media. Advertising, like PR, email marketing etc... has been one element of marketing long before social media came into the mix. It’s up to a brand or company to decide if it's effective (GM apparently thought it wasn't), but for many brands it can be a good way to reach new, targeted consumers and build awareness. Like anything else, it's how it's integrated into a larger effort. We created a fantastic Facebook campaign for one of our CPG clients that combined retailer support, FB advertising, engagement, promotion and sampling that resulted in 6500 newsletter sign-ups and a 13 percent increase in in-store sales in addition to adding 10,000 fans for a very low cost. It really comes down to strategy and not just trying to expedite community building.

Rachel Kay
www.rkpr.net

patrick gladney

I think the real question remains, how does FB plan to make money should more big advertisers like GM decide that paid advertising isn't effective? Brands investing in the platform with owned content isn't going to help the share price...

Wilson T.

So much money is frivolously spent on advertising when you can save money with a good marketing platform. A simple toll-free vanity phone number is a great way to enhance your brand and get the consumers attention at the same time. I used http://www.vanitytollfreenumbers.com and got a great number for a cheap price.

Jamie

David, it's good to see this point being made. I continue to wonder how Facebook will ever make the amount of money that investors thought it could before the IPO. The past couple weeks have shown what most of us know already.

Erik Larson

Here's an example of using great content to publish our way in on the web for free:

Our recent pay-per-click campaigns on Facebook have been swamped by a small but global tribe of people that 'like' massive numbers of ads, regularly clicking dozens of ads a day, often 4 or 5 at a time, adding up to hundreds or thousands of likes per year. I call these people 'booklicants' since I am a geek, and since I thought they were bots at first. As high as 90 percent of our 'likes' come from these folks. Facebook's focus on making ads look like content seems to be responsible for this behavior.

This is misleading since most advertisers expect that people use Facebook the same way we (mostly) all do. In other words, we rarely click on ads, so if someone does click on an ad, that means something similar to clicking on a display ad somewhere else...it is a meaningful click in the way we expect. Not true.

You can read more here: http://wahanegi.com/do-not-advertise-on-facebook-until-you-read-this/

David Meerman Scott

Wow - thanks for all the comments, likes, +1s, and tweets. This post seemed to have struck a nerve. I was on the road all day yesterday and am just now seeing the comments here.

Louis & Stephen - Yes, you are right. It is not either / or. Many companies have a strategy of content marketing combined with some advertising.

Nathan & Patrick & Jamie - As a shareholder in Facebook (I bought on the first day - ugh) I couldn't agree more. Facebook has nearly a billion users. It's a huge audience and I am hopeful they will be able to monetize it successfully so I am in it for the long term.

Rachel - I'm not saying advertising is begging. In my way of thinking OLD = Advertising (buying attention) and PR (begging the media for attention). NEW = creating content to earn attention. Yes this is simplistic which is why I have been blogging about it since 2004 and have written 8 books on the topic.

Teds027 - You're right of course. The metrics you use to calculate value will drive how you invest.

Eric - thanks for the example but I'm not sure I get your point. If you are PAYING for those clicks, how is it generating attention for you for free? Isn't this just advertising? What am I missing?

Andy Strote

David, nice column, thank you, but there is one thing I wish you would have said differently. That is "publish your way in on the Web for free" and "Winning is all about creating great content. For free."

Yes, the media platforms are "free", but as you know, the time it takes to create good content, monitor it, respond to it, measure it, etc can be substantial. We work with clients in both paid and social media. There are still many companies just starting in social. It can be a steep learning curve, and one of the early discussions we have is about content creation - who will do it, what it entails and what it costs.

David Meerman Scott

Andy - When I say "free" I mean that it does not require paying for media. But of course, it does take people's time to create the content. Ways to get the time required include hiring people or working with an agency. So yes, it can require an investment of money too.

thanks

Katie

I see your point. It hadn't hit me before marketing and advertising do not always go hand-in-hand. I guess that makes me one of those "seemingly-smart" but in all actuality extremely dense people you speak of! Thanks for clarifying the difference.

Ingersollink

Wholeheartedly agree. I recently worked for a marketing office for an upscale shopping district and they seemed to think Facebook was just a place put up store specials. Any attempts on my part to make things more personal and fun were rejected as "not business like." Unfortunately, I think many businesses like that are stuck on the old rules.

Mark@ Make Them Click

David,

the stats I saw said while they dropped the $10m in advertising, they were still spending another $30m a year developing their Facebook pages.

That's hardly dumping Facebook.

Melonie Dodaro

Thanks for drawing the line between "marketing" and "advertising." Yes, I do agree with you that both terms had existed as if they can be used interchangeably and still deliver the same message. Thanks for sharing.

Lkinoshita

So true! Marketing encompasses many things, including public relations. These days, marketing also includes SEO and blogging. Anything that puts a product/business in front of potential buyers for the benefit of the organization is "marketing." Advertising is just one piece of that.

Lisa Chaves

I also would want to add Social Media Marketing together with SEO, Blogging, Online Marketer as well.

Kit Kat

I would only partly agree to the new rules "publish your way in on the Web for free". In order to get great content done, we still have to engage professionals, this will still cost a bit of money. Overall the dimensions of marketing has change and will be changing.

April Paine

I think you are right that this post has hit a nerve with readers. I appreciate how you pointed out that, just because GM pulled $10 million in advertising, this doesn't mean that they are not still advertising on Facebook. We think FB will have to start charging http://www.thinkbigonline.com.au/will-facebooks-ipo-lead-to-paid-user-accounts/ in order to keep people "participating" as you say while still keeping NASDAQ happy.

Lianne-carla Savage

Great post, so many people jump on the bandwagon and come to conclusions without looking into things properly. Nice to see someone who would rather get it right than just jump in on the latest news.

Cygnis Media

Wholeheartedly agree. I recently worked for a marketing office for an upscale shopping district and they seemed to think Facebook was just a place put up store specials. Any attempts on my part to make things more personal and fun were rejected as "not business like." Unfortunately, I think many businesses like that are stuck on the old rules.

maviyan

I see your point. It hadn't hit me before marketing and advertising do not always go hand-in-hand. I guess that makes me one of those "seemingly-smart" but in all actuality extremely dense people you speak of! Thanks for clarifying the difference.
http://www.surveytool.com/advertising-research/

View Site

Facebook also launched social marketing on their site, which is not effective for users.I would recommend that reduce their advertising strategy because due to huge advertisement on Facebook, users are leaving site.

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