BY: Jeff Gibbard from True Voice Media via Social Media Today connect with Jeff on Twitter: @jgibbard
...WONDERING IF EVERYONE HAS SIMPLY FORGOTTEN WHY WE SWITCHED FROM MYSPACE TO FACEBOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE
Indeed, I've long been suspect of the "Facebook Page"... I don't know how many times I've had to plead with a client that it is NOT a page, NOT another site and that outside the cover image, a profile picture, and a few apps; it isn't to be... designed.
MySpace became Facbook because MySpace lost it. It lost it's own notion of "the stream" and let us go nutz and attempt "page" personalization. Suddenly it was suggested that we create our own funky MySpace experience, color up and put doo-dads all over our "page". Well, we all know where that gif induced blinkity-blink nightmare ended up; right in the hands of a man who'd made billions in the "old world" selling, pages. We didn't know it but we didn't want MySpace pages; we wanted MORE and more of the steady STREAM of good greeting from old pals.
A steady stream of hello, how ya doing, here's what I'm getting up to. MySpace did this very well, Facebook originally did it better simply because; Facebook forced us to do it. Facebook provided the same stream in a tight and directed fashion, even gave us a methodology for kicking the thought off, IS.
We left the blinkety-blink "pages" in droves; and invited all our friends along at exactly the right moment in the history of the inter-webs for Facebook to blossom (expand and explode). Did anyone ever to thank Tom? I have, I thanked him for my renewed friendships, my new friendships, the love of my life and the son we now have because of... MySpace.
SO... Facebook = Blossom... MySpace Blinkety-Blink Pages not so much... Good Business... this. is. simply. not. going. to. work.
In search of the money-machine...
Now, who doesn't like money... Does anyone recall where Facebook didn't try to put advertising? Does anyone recall each revolting revolt each time Facebook re-jigged the template to accomodate us marketers and our retched cousins, the Ad-man? All applause due and kudos to these good folks who built a billion person following made up primarily of whiners, screamers and cry babies.
The addition of the Facebook Business Page and to a lesser extent the attempted formalization of our timeline was nothing more than an attempt by Facebook to add a THERE, there. A place to post and sell ads onto... I recall the New York Times no less announcing that they would be adding the entier editorial history, ever last single article ever written to their timeline; my goodnees (hands rubbing together) This was almost the second coming of the Louisiana land grab; think of the Ad-real-estate! Somebody quick, we're going to need a bigger drool bucket!
But... we don't want a Facebook Page, blinkety blink or no blibkety blink. Facebook and Twitter provide us, the steady stream; AND, who the heck amongst us whiners & cry babies wants to add more Ad-real estate into our stream? Who the heck wants to stop, midstream to read about shoes... now buying shoes; better yet, buying shoes with my friends in the stream... that's whole other tall tale...
For certain I may have a passing interest in a page from time to time; I even stop for long enough to "like" some companies offering, but... that's that, that's done... I've already moved on... why on earth would I ever go back to a Facebook page when, if I really liked what I liked, I'd go where there's even more of what I liked, ie that companies site, that places, their blog, better yet, their store?
Putting on my marketing guy hat; my justification for selling my most valued clients on the idea of a Facebook Business is, it is a place to capture and collect a passing interest. To store the warm not yet cooling bodies. But what mechanisms does Facebook offer me to move these bodies to my customers site/store... What, I just keep clogging their feed, keep tapping into their stream, keep interrupting the conversations they are having with friends? How can that work well? - Most often, it doesn't; even if it could... maybe.
Once again, the AND being mightier than the OR...
The more brilliant amongst us have realized that this remains a grand experiment, long ago let themselves realize that locking oneself in the idea that this is right and you are wrong usually leave you, well... locked out.
There is no reason NOT to have a Facebook Business Page as long as you and your client have reasonable expectations. If you have the cash-ola to buy what Facebook is selling to push that page, it might even work for you, for a while. Maybe, just maybe, in their continuous search for a "done is better than perfect" solution the good folks at Facebook may even make another mistake that allows for a momentary explosion of success (watch for these, there have been many).
In the end I find myself less and less interested in struggling with a Facebook Business Page mainly because, that's Facebook's struggle. To find the money machine in their own business model is their own business issue. My concern is NOT making my own our my clients "page" the best Facebook Business Page, ever... It's my business to move the customer from the "stream"; or simply from what ever other activity... to our display window, show case; through the door. It's my business to allow my client the opportunity to engage with their customer, have him try on that pair of those shoes, talk the attribute talk, "...corinthian leather-etter!". Fawn over the benefits .. "you look smashing" in those...
And... it's my business to focus on the only "digital-social-business-metric" that matters most to my client. that is, add at least one dollar more into their till than is taken out...
The stream is a wonderful busy sidewalk... your ad in the stream? Is it a homeless man in a sandwich board or a handbill pasted on the telephone poll? Your window is dressed in a lovely display, with all your product Pinetrested into it's proper place... the Marketer can only do as much as he can to get those folks through your door... But take a cue from the Italian waiter on Lower Mulberry Street... There's little harm in hitting the sidewalk and asking someone in the street and/or stream... "Do you like Penné Aribiata?" Oh and... I like your shoes.
(this ain't over)