Apparently old-school advertising doesn’t work on Facebook

by Jason Preston on July 31, 2007

There’s an article (I almost called it a post – silly me) about Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who started Facebook, at the Economist.com that Teresa kindly pointed me to this morning. It’s an interesting summary of the Facebook phenomenon, if you’re not familiar with it.

But the part that caught my attention was one line right near the end:

Advertising, the obvious business model, does not seem to work well on Facebook, perhaps because people go there to socialise, not to shop.

Which raises two important questions:

  1. How will Facebook make (more) money?
  2. How do you advertise on Facebook?

The first question is really Facebook’s problem to solve. I’m sure they’re well aware of it and have got some ideas to try. The second question is the one that we’re interested in.

I think the crux of the matter is that nobody should really advertise on Facebook. I remember Fred Wilson wrote a long time ago that relevant advertising is content. He’s absolutely right.

And in order to “advertise” on Facebook, you need to create relevant content designed to engage the Facebook user, not to sell them. That’s the basis of our BlogTips application, and the thinking behind all of our marketing-related efforts on Facebook.

The bottom line is that there’s a lot learn about how businesses can engage customers via Facebook and other social networking platforms. We’re trying to figure out if it’s a good idea to attach a “Facebook Marketing Summit” to the Chicago Blog Business Summit, so we’ve created a Facebook group where you can all go tell us what a good idea it is.

OK, technically, you’re also supposed to tell us if it’s a bad idea, too ;)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 facebook application 07.31.07 at 7:02 pm

Advertisers have other methods of marketing on facebook. You have to tap into the social aspect. For example, if a really hot girl has 15,000 friends. Contact that girl and get her to set up groups, post pictures, and information about your product or service.

2 nate 08.01.07 at 3:26 pm

I have tried advertising on Facebook, and got zero response. I thought it was just me, but found that wasn’t the case. In fact, I wrote a bit about my experience in case you’re interested, in the comments on this page: http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/why-facebook-is-not-a-viable-marketing-platform34381.html

3 Games News 01.29.08 at 5:15 pm

I actually don’t know why people are so crazy with those social networking… do u think they are really really social… huh !..

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