Social Marketers: Plan for the Marriage, Not the Wedding

By looking beyond Facebook

Social media marketing is new, changing constantly, and for many, confusing as hell. Fortunately the nascent industry has no shortage of social gurus, ninjas, and wizards hawking their version of best practices to the masses.

In a presentation titled, “Will You Still ‘Like’ Me In the Morning?,” Paul Dunay, CMO of Networked Insights, warned marketers from stopping at their Facebook fan page when launching social marketing strategies. “They spend more time planning for the wedding than for the marriage,” he said. Having a snazzy Facebook page with a sizable fan base is the cost of doing business—everyone needs it (“Your fans expect you to be there, and you’ll lose them to the competition if you aren’t,” Dunay said). But many marketers don’t go beyond making a pretty page; they don’t realize that a mere .2 percent to 2 percent of a brand’s Facebook fans ever return to the brand’s homepage after initially “fanning” it. It means marketers need to focus on creating relevant content that keeps fans engaged with their brand through their news stream, he said.  

Another way brands can be their own worst enemy on Facebook is by ignoring the mountain of data their fans willfully supply to them. Thanks to the availability of “fanships,” marketers have access to granular facts about their followings. A beer brand could learn, for example, that its fans’ favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy, which is a valuable insight for making TV ad buys or even developing ad creative. It also creates right and wrong answers for marketing decisions, Dunay said. One brand he worked with was planning an event with Lady Gaga; after looking at Facebook fan data, the marketer realized its own fans weren’t that into the artist.