Posts tagged "Facebook"

Will Pinterest survive its own growth?

We all know this: Pinterest is the new web phenomenon and everybody is talking about it.
Since nobody wants to feel outdated, the web hysteria  and fast paced life requires mass of followers to adapt to the new trends and join the “coolest” platform or social media tools of the moment.

It’s the good old “Be there or be square”. It worked in high school and still works fine on the web.

Sometimes this is enough for a decent social media or photosharing idea to hit the spot and collect million and million of users and eventually make a lot of money out of them by selling it to some angel fund or Venture Capitalist that will buy it for a million dollar to sell it back 2 years later for half of the price.

That’s because millions of users don’t mean a thing if you don’t find how to make money out of it and get them involved more and more deeply in the platform.
At GT we want to be very clear about this: Pinterest might collect zillion of users but it’s still a platform that is very much likely to collapse. And here’s why.

#1 - THE MORE YOU USE IT THE MORE YOU START TO RE-PIN AND STOP PINNING NEW ITEMS.

This is simple math. The more time you spend on Pinterest the less you spend on other websites looking for things you might just be willing to pin.
And since Pinterest lives upon what users upload and/or pin online, this is a very dangerous paradox.
Paradoxically in order to keep growing and being interesting, Pinterest should encourage its users not to spend their time on boards.
That is because Pinterest is an hungry beast eating what users provide and feeding users with the same items. But if users stop collecting food for the beast, it will start delivering the same rotten food again and again and lead its users to frustration and boredom.

2# - PINTEREST DOES NOT HAVE A CLEAR BUSINESS MODEL AND REVENUE PLAN

Before Pinterest was thefancy.com.
These guys create a platform to collect users preferences and “likes” on high-level design products and share them with others.
Thefancy.com just didn’t make it to the big market. Didn’t become popular.
Whether because of its name or because of its being too much design focused, it’s still (at least in European market) a niche platform.
No newspaper titles. No hype.

Yet, the fancy.com is most likely to survive Pinterest mania and make some money out of it.
Infact while Thefancy.com has found a clever business model, Pinterest has not.
After collecting tons of very cool items divided into different categories they have added the possibility to actually BUY that item from their own site.
And this makes the difference between a large scale social utility and a revenue making project.

Sure, Pinterest is cool, but unless it finds a smart way to monetize its success, the server and bandwidth needed to keep it running will ultimately stab it in the back.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Yes, Pinterest is wow. And newspapers love it.
But does it have what it takes to go next level? Can it stop being a trendy cool social medium and start being a money machine?
That’s the bad thing about the internet: YOU CAN’T BE FREE FOREVER.

Sooner or later, the network demands its slice of the cake to keep you up and working. Servers, programmers, bandwidth… these and more costs.

And advertising can’t cover all of them.
Will Pinterest find a new way to solve this issue?
We will see it in the future.  For now, we keep on being skeptical.

Why we are not crazy about Facebook IPO

Enough.
We are sick and tired of reading about this Facebook IPO.
Sincerely we don’t understand this messianic hype over a stock market operation that’s enriching a talented US enfant prodige.

Yes, Facebook is a huge phenomenon. Yes, it has changed the rules of online marketing.
Yes, we use it, love it or hate it.
But reading all around the web of live streaming for the Facebook IPO and about people that can’t wait to see it, we cannot but being puzzled.

What’s the end benefit for a Facebook user or human being in this operation?
Do you think your overall online experience will be somewhat improved by Facebook IPO?
Why are you happy about it?

We think most of the people that are excited about the IPO think in someways believe that it is a sort of revenge.
They identify their frustration and hopes and dreams in the story of a nerd that conquered the market.
Economy has become a movie itself. The american dream is ultimately represented in this IPO.

Wanting to know, wanting to see, wanting to be there in the precise moment when the company goes public is wanting to be a part of it. Is wanting to have been Mr. Z.
Is wanting to have a successful career, a brilliant idea.

For good and inspiring this might seem, we think that keeping on living someone else’s dream is a huge waste of time we could use in making ours become real.

Facebook IPO is not a revenge for your life frustration.
And Mr. Z. success is not a sign that the world is heading to a marvelous future where the social media will change the world.
Facebook raised money using you as a product.

There’s nothing wrong in this. 
We are not blaming Facebook for giving us a free service in turn for our data to be given to advertisers.
We are just saying that you are not getting any good out of this. You ARE the good Facebook gets the money for.

That’s why, unless Facebook decides to share this money with every user based on its contribution to success, we at GT are not celebrating this moment.
We will look at it, envy Mr. Z. and focus our energy and time in creating our own American Dream.
 

Social influence is not what you think it is. Deal with it.

When it comes to social media, you are very likely to be asked about how to recruit social influencers to promote a brand or a product.
Before even considering who to involve you have to understand (and get your clients to understand) what social influence is.
Here are a couple of consideration about it.
It’s an open discussion, but we do believe there are some myth about social influence which is high time to debunk. 


1) SOCIAL INFLUENCE IS NOT QUANTITATIVE

while looking for the best and most influent player to involve as an ambassador for your brand, you might think that the more connections he has, the better.

Many agencies will get you a list of nominees with millions of followers and you may consider that if these people talked about your brand you could reach a lot of other people effortlessly.

In some ways you are certainly right. But please keep in mind that the web is not about HOW MUCH but it’s way more about WHAT and WHO.

Steve Jobs didn’t have a Facebook page with millions of friends but we are quite sure you would consider to hire him as an influencer for your brand, wouldn’t you?

If someone has 100 contacts but those contacts are the most important player in the market you are working on, hiring him/her would certainly be a better idea than hiring a zillion-fans-monkey that’s no authority to speak about your brand.


2) SOCIAL INFLUENCE IS NOT CONQUERED ONCE AND FOR ALL

You can spot the best blogger, the best community manager but always keep in mind that working on your brand social influence capacity, this is job you have to take everyday.
It’s not about getting to the point where you have achieved what you want, it’s about struggling everyday to be credible, intelligent, trustworthy and transparent.

The web is not about achieving goals and then planning.
It’s about planning while you move. 
You have to win today, not tomorrow.

In order to extend your influence on the web you have to improve the quality of what you say or sell not just the way you have to say.

3) SOCIAL INFLUENCE IS PROPORTIONAL TO BRAND HONESTY

It’s a golden rule for any web initiative: you are what you are, not what you say.
The bla bla bla on the web equals 0.
You might have the best agency in the world to create for you the best campaigns or virals, but if your product sucks, your ability to influence the web will be none.
The only way you have to become more influent is to actually be what you say.

Of course you may want to try to extend your reach, you might want to run display campaigns and whatever it takes to get your brand or product known.
But if you are not consistent to what you say, if your products are bad, this lack of honesty will hit you in the face so fast that you will not see it coming.
The more you are able to be consistent with the promise you make the more influent you will be.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

social influence is not about getting to as many people as possible in the shortest time.
it’s about saying relevant things to relevant people that can become relevant for their connections.
In case you didn’t get it from the previous sentence, there’s only one keyword to underline as far as social influence is concerned: relevancy.

The more relevant and consistent you are able to be, the more influential you will become.
Even without hiring someone to whip a bunch of monkeys for them to type on a keyboard and get you a zillion fans. 



 

Why Facebook bought instagram and why that’s a sign of weakness

One billion dollars.
That’s the word of the day. And a lot of money.

And so Facebook bought Instagram.
Now, you might tend to think this a good move.
Facebook is becoming adult and it’s dirtying its hands in the business machine.
Buying a successful and growing company would be a good remedy to a possible users acquisition slowdown.

And that’s basically true.
But there’s one but.  Facebook might have just taken the big step to become a corporation, but this is a clear sign of its weakness.  

And here’s why.

1) YOU CAN’T GROW FOREVER

As aforementioned, the business of Facebook, its entire value is in its huge number of users. This number has grown rapidly and constantly ever since the beginning of the company.

But this can’t go on forever.

When you have reached 1 billion, or even 2 billion users, how far can you go? 
There will be a time when anyone who actually wants to be on Facebook will be on Facebook.
And Facebook will stop growing.
Stopping to grow, it will lose its start-up-like potential and will be a company to manage. 
The effort will be then NOT to lose users, not to let them migrate to other upcoming platform (such as instagram or path).

That is basically why Facebook bought instagram. 
But who’s next? What’s gonna happen when another photo sharing platform or social video app reaches 5, 10 or more million users?
Will Facebook buy all of them as they could be a threat to their growth or power?

And what about Orkut, Vkontacte or QZone? 
Pursuing this approach to the market, sooner or later Facebook will have to face a moment when they will have to decide whether they want to buy those localized powerful competitors or not.
But can that be possible? Is this a business model that Facebook can afford?

And even more important, is this gonna work anyways?
Even if Facebook could acquire any growing company in the social media sphere for the next 10 or 100 years, would that approach be successful?
In our opinion absolutely not.
 

2) FACEBOOK’S STRUGGLE TO GROW CONSTANTLY WILL KILL ITS NATURE

So far Facebook won the market challenge because of its uniqueness and ability to provide a social environment where people could gather together in a simple and yet powerful way.
Facebook has been for some time the APPLE of social media, while google wave and G+ where the crapy windows-powered-machine.
Trying to dominate the market acquiring any possible competitor might shift users perception and put the mask of Win95 on Mr. Zuckerberg face.

Trends have to be exclusive. Even when they are for the masses.
And being exclusive means that any contamination with other worlds is or could be seen as a break with its tradition.
 

3) FACEBOOK SHOWED UNABLE TO WIN AGAINST INSTAGRAM

What Facebook should have done instead of acquiring instagram, is to develop a serious and more credible alternative to it.
To extend its photosharing abilities and tools. To create something original and absolutely wow.
For some time we read rumors about a possible Facebook phone.
Introducing a Facebook phone on the market with, let’s say, 3 dimensional cameras and unique sharing features could have been a way.

This is just an example. But we give it to mean that the only way for a business like Facebook to evolve and constantly grow in users and popularity it is not to get competitors in the family, but to win against competitors because of its ability to innovate.

Think about it. That’s just what apple has always done
And that’s the main reason of its success. 
Steve jobs never bought a competitor that saw as a threat for its business.
He wanted to be a threat for other companies’ businesses innovating and creating entire new markets.

Facebook has (had?) the power to do the same in the social media sphere.
Will it seize this opportunity or kill itself on the way of fear?
 

Why you need more than Facebook for your brand

We must admit it. Enchanted by the magic of Facebook and its everlasting growth, we thought that this magic black hole would drain all the web in itself and would make blogs useless.

Those were the times when we were wondering how a blog or a website could add value to a Facebook page. We told ourselves that, being already into Facebook, Facebook pages were much more likely to be shared and read and liked.

We said that after all Facebook pages are public and well indexed on Google.
We said to us and our clients that it was the best way.

But sometimes even Guerrilla thinkers are wrong.
And boy, we were.
Facebook will never kill blogs, websites and web applications.
And here’s why

1)  WEB IS UNIVERSAL. FACEBOOK IS NOT.

Ok. In some countries like Italy, Facebook has got a very deep market penetration.
But that does not make it a universal platform open to anyone.
Yes, Facebook pages are public. Yes anyone can read them. But not anyone can or wants to land on a Facebook URL.
There are places or even countries where Facebook is not allowed or so much popular.
And there are people who are still skeptical about it and might just not be in a good disposition to read your content if its in a Facebook frame.

2) FACEBOOK IS NOT MADE FOR BLOGGING. IT’S MADE FOR SHARING

You might object that Facebook is the king of content publishing.
Actually it is not.
Yes you can publish youtube videos, pictures and text on Facebook but in order to publish a structured idea under the form of article you have to use “notes”.
And notes are not immediately visible in your wall. You have to click on them.
This is just one of the signs that clearly point out that Facebook wasn’t made for blogging. It was made for microblogging as much as twitter. A place for short thoughts. And actually in the beginning status updates were limited to a specific number of characters. 

Facebook it’s place to gather all the cool links from the web all together.
A place to SHARE content but not a place to CREATE content.
You can see this for yourself. How many of the contents posted by your contacts are original and how many are shared from the web?
Most of the original content is PERSONAL content.
On Facebook you CREATE content when it comes about your own personal experience (pictures, videos, and status updates) and you SHARE content when it comes about all of the rest.

3) FACEBOOK IS PUSH, RARELY PULL.

Facebook is PUSH and rarely pull.
People are overwhelmed with content and very rarely go and look for them.
You don’t really go on a Facebook page to check the updates, do you?
They get to your newsfeed, and if they don’t you just don’t realize it.

That’s because each Facebook member has an average of 150 friends.
Not to mention the Facebook pages they liked.
This gets their walls very much crowded. 
It is not rare to click “unsubscribe” on a friend or page feed.
And recent data clearly outline that only a 16% of feeds make it to our circle of contacts.
The rest is lost in the feed.

If you are looking for qualified attention by your readers this is not the place you want to be.

4) FACEBOOK IS NOT CUSTOMIZABLE

Yesterday Facebook introduced pages timeline.
It’s something we knew was meant to be done.
But it’s not enough to make our fans experience “branded”.
Through these late times, Facebook has tried whatever possible to let brands customize their pages. But the Facebook framework is too strict.
While this is good for users, it is also a pain in the back for brands that have to handle pages applications, tabs and now timeline covers to engage their users.

On a blog or a website, this is not a problem.
You can do you own graphics and navigation and add as much interaction as you want.
And this is good for brands. Very good.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Brands know and feel they have to be on Facebook.
They know people spend their time there and they know it would be nonsense to be out.
But Facebook is not a magic wand. When it comes to express your vision of the world and engage users in a deeper way, you should consider other options.
Of course you will communicate them into Facebook, but you’re not supposed to carry them on that platform.
As we said above Facebook is a place for sharing but this does not mean it is also a place for interacting. Don’t take it for granted.

The 5 Dos and don’ts for brands on Pinterest

We are not going to tell you that Pinterest is the “next” web thing.
You already know that.
Everybody is talking about it and people and brands are excited there’s a new kid in town they can play with.
Many of them haven’t done it yet. Some other did.
And there are some lessons we learnt from them.

Before jumping into another “social media” platform, brands should consider HOW they are going to make it. And most important WHY they wanna do it.

1) PINTEREST IS ABOUT VISUAL COMMUNICATION. DO NOT POST BORING TEXT DISGUISED AS IMAGE

One of the reasons why Pinterest is successful is that it’s about scanning and zooming on what we think might be interesting. In a page crowded with stimuli we like, share or zoom on a image.
The reason why we tend to do one of the previous actions is that the image speaks for itself. It’s about a feeling, not an explanation.
Pinterest is much more about branding than selling or giving details. For that you have many other social media options.
And this is even true when it comes to infographics. Do not abuse them.
Keep them funny and short.  


2) DON’T USE BOARDS AS A NAVIGATION MENU FOR YOUR PRODUCTS

Pinterest is not just another clone of your website. As much as you should never crowd your Facebook page with a zillion tabs reflecting your website content tree, you must NEVER create tens of boards to show how rich and convenient your products are.
Again, this place is more about branding, about conveying an allure, about creating a brand identity through a series of visual inputs to people.

3) INTERACT WITH USERS

Pinterest is always a social environment. Interacting with your followers repinning their pins or liking them, increases the chance they will do the same with yours.
As in any social media context, it is vital not to give the idea that beyond the interface there’s more than just a dead monkey sitting at a desk. 


4) IF YOU WANT TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS DO IT THE PROPER WAY

If you want to push some of your products to the market and get people to buy them, pin a cool picture of the product and don’t forget to put the price as a badge or a label on to it.
In the pin description use proper keywords and URLs in order to drive your followers to buy. Create seasonal boards for special time-limited offers.
Envolve people through like-to-save money actions.
You repin my pin? You save 5%.
Try, experiment, involve.

5) BE RELEVANT

Give people what they expect from you.
Content is and will always be king. Visual input you propose to your followers should not go too far from your brand essence but clarify it in the simplest way: through an image.

Follow these simple 5 rules and you are on the way to start making something good out of the new web frenzy. 

Why sharing is becoming the new meaning of life. AKA the swarm theory.

2012 will be remembered (provided there will actually be a 2013) as the year when everything changed.

We can sense it, can’t you somewhat feel it in the air?
The world is at a turning point.
We have to decide whether we want to live or die and what we want to do with our future.

While the masses and most of the people in so-called civilized countries sleep quite at night, the south of the world is shaking hard and setting up a revolution that will change the course of history.

In some years from now the world might be so different from what we see today.
And we are not talking about politics.

We talk about a vision of the world and people.
We talk about memes and mind-controlling ideas that spread as a virus in any mind of the planet.
We talk about the web.

Don’t just misunderstand us. This is not about a plot theory.
We don’t think there’s a man in black hidden congregation willing to submit mankind to a single power.
No. You could prove us wrong, but we think there’s no such thing.
There is no hidden government or secret organization that’s driving the course of human history in a precise direction.
It’s just us. People.
And people are strange (yeah, now go la la la la).

People, you and us, love and hate other people.
Any action, judgement, decision we take is based on this simple primary instinct: like or dislike.
We like or we don’t like a movie, a pizza, a painting, a vase and a person we meet.

What the rise of the social media clearly outlined though is that we tend to like what people we like like.
If I like you and you like a movie, I will like that movie, even before watching it. 
This tendency has been correctly identified as a viral prerogative of social relationships that exploded in all its potential with the social media tools.

What has not been investigated yet enough is how this prerogative, this viral effect is going to change not only short circles of friends about a brand or a product but the entire world as far as the primal ideas of freedom, democracy, life and death are concerned.

For ages local cultures have survived with or without the consent of people.
Religions, histories, masters and traditions were so strong and invasive that any discussion could take place only in their framework.
With the birth of the web and the social media, the consent of any single individual has started to sum up with that of millions around the world, building a virtual world map of what is right and what is wrong. 

It’s not about knowledge. It’s about judgement.
On the contrary, we would even say that knowing is not so important.
People are not less ignorant thanks to the world wide web.
In some cases they are even more ignorant than before.

It’s just that while before we used to rely on local traditions and culture to create their set of values, nowadays we don’t do this anymore.
We pick our ideas and judgments directly at the source of collective consciousness. And as much as we did not discuss the values of our local culture before, we don’t discuss those of the collective thought of the web.
We take it for granted. A datum that must be true. Because it’s there. And everybody shares it and likes it.

Yet, the radical change in the perception of the world and our scale of values is not the only impact that social media and the web have had on our mind.
What has radically changed is the perception of ourselves.

If it’s true that now more than ever our idea of good and evil is now a result of collective thoughts and judgements, it is even truer that our idea of ourselves comes from a collective view of who we are.
The more people are connected and dependent on other people to judge and understand reality, the more they feel their own existence coincide with that of their social sphere.

Social media are starting to define the meaning of life. In some ways the whole meaning of our existence is becoming more and more that of being part of the swarm.

Just like in a swarm, any of us builds up a piece of common consciousness, knowledge and understanding of reality.
If you don’t contribute, don’t post, like, upload and bring yourself into the “matrix”, you do not exist. And you feel useless.
Sharing is existing. And any existence that’s no shared does and more and more will not exist at all. 

It’s what we call the swarm theory.

In social media, any individual performs some actions that are meant to prove its existence and show it to the others.
By doing so that individual brings value to the entire swarm and follows or lead the whole swarm to a specific direction. There are no bosses in the swarm, but only tendencies, trends. And this might be good.

What could just not be that much good is that like any other collective movement, the social media swarm is not about individuals, it’s about collectivity.
And this means that the loss of one is not significant for the swarm. 
This could, and in many ways is already, bring us to a world were persons are insignificant and life and death lose their real meaning.

You may say that we have gone too far but please consider how many so-called friends you have on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest. And then focus on those you remember the most. You are likely to answer that you remember those who post more content than the others. Even if they are not real friends, but just acquaintances.
Their existence for you depends on how much they share.
Should they die and stop sharing, you would never even realize they are dead. 
The swarm would keep on existing and moving indifferent to this loss.

With you in the middle of it. Flying around as a drop in the sea. 
In 2012 and more and more in 2013.
Until all that’s left is the swarm. And you are lost inside it.
Happy to share and create a collective mankind without men and women, but only avatars.

 

 

 

Not all that glitters is Apps…

Some of us guerrilla thinkers were having dinner a couple of nights ago with some top-of-market agency guys and we were debating whether mobile Apps will sooner or later replace websites at all or not.

In other words the question was the usual one: is the web dead? Will mobile apps and content definitely kill any effort to build up our own multiple and various little world in the web galaxy? Are we doomed to a future when in order to check, watch, buy anything we will have to download or worse BUY an app?

This latter question is pretty important because what many journalists, critics and guru never point out while discussing the possible scenarios is that the difference between apps and what we call “free web” is that while a website is open, free and search engine friendly, apps are not.  Yes most apps are free but they are downloadable from a market you access from specific devices.

And you gotta pay for them. You can’t just enter a public place (hotel, school, bar, restaurant…) and use their pc to check things on your apps, because in order to do that, you gotta have them right there in your little, cool, smart, fashion phone.


Think about it. That’s mainly why very popular apps like instagram are now trying to reverse the same experience and content you have in you device on a pc-level experience.

To be device-bound has been the main force of the apps, but this is also the most important threat to the growth of their business.

If all the content is in the cloud, application should be in the cloud as well, not JUST to be downloaded but to be used for free And that’s basically the web.

A popular device apps will more and more require a fully functional and device-indipendent version of itself or in the medium distance its run will be over.

Of course the opposite is also true. And Facebook is a good example.
Out of a web platform they have created a mobile app to grant users a seamless FB experience while on the go.
Why shouldn’t the opposite be as much necessary for any appstore or android market popular app?

Why can’t I take advantage of let’s say cool hipstamatic filters or photo collage cool effects on my mac as much as I daily do on my iPhone?

Unless we believe that in the nearer future people will be using a single smart mobile and appstore-bound device throughout their daily experience of work and leisure, it is really important to find a good answer to this question. Are we absolutely sure that in the nearer future tablets and smartphones will kill desk/laptop navigation?

But there’s one more thing (oops, that sounds creepy, doesn’t it?): the content of the apps is vertical, whereas the web is horizontal.
When I browse an app (on a device I bought and that’s the only thing that lets me access that, as said above) I browse a barb wired little world. Any connection to other sources of information, other content requires my smartphone to pause, switch to another application (most of the time a WEB browser) and in the end break a stream of thoughts, emotions and interests that brought me to that place.

While clicking on a link in a browser to another website doesn’t change my experience of using my device, switching from an application to another one seriously gets people dizzy and can have serious repercussions on your business.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

In order to maximize APPS, market leaders should improve the way apps dialogue one with the other and make the browsing and hypertexting among them easier and seamless. On the other hand they should be also consider to release the same apps experience on the web, to make it accessible from any device I want.

Until that moment (that could be actually closer than we think) websites will keep on being competitive and demand their right to exist and apps will be mostly dedicated to geotagged services and infos.


 

5 reasons why Google plus won’t beat Facebook

Google Plus is failing. No matter how much money they put into it. It just won’t beat Facebook. 

Here’s why:

1) LACK OF REASON WHY

Why would someone that has a Facebook profile need to have a google + one?
For how hard we try we just can’t find a single valuable reason.
Now ask yourself why would anyone who does not have any social profile prefer Facebook against G+. Because everybody is on Facebook. They started collecting users before 2006. And they did it in the most interesting place: US College.
Now you get on the platform and bang!
In seconds you get connected to most of the people you know. Neat.
Why would you change or worse handle a second social profile?
And this leads us to the second reason.

2)  BAD TIMING

Starting a social media platform in a market that’s so crowded and has already very huge player (such as Facebook, Twitter but also V-Kontakte in Russia or Orkut in south America) means not to understand that you are just late. Brin and Page, you might a be geniuses at creating algorythms, but take it as it is: you can’t always win. The ship is gone. And you are the one who’s swimming behind it trying to get on board.
And this leads us to the third reason.

3)  G+ IS NOT SEXY AT ALL. 

Nobody wants to date the follower. Everybody wants to hang out with the leader.
And this is even more true when the follower mimics the leader.
Google plus is a mere copy of Facebook. And yet there is no added value, it is worse than the original.
And it looks very much a place for nerds and/or tech savvies.
Not certainly the kind of place you go for fun. 

4) THE INTERFACE OF G+ IS UGLY AND NOT EASY TO UNDERSTAND

You may think this does not count as a good reason. But you are absolutely wrong.
When you land on Facebook for the first time you have a feeling everything is in its own place. On the other hand, when you land on G+ you have a feeling there are too many things to check, click and look. G+ looks a lot like a shallow parody of Facebook you wouldn’t expect from Google.


5) THERE ARE NO GOOD REASONS FOR TIME SPENDING

One of the reasons why FB has a lot of time spent on its pages it’s because there is a lot of additional content to interact with (games, app…) apart from friends timelines.
Even though G+ is trying to copy FB in this approach the amount of possibilities in the hands of users is still too little to attract more users.

FINAL CONSIDERATION

Google plus is something in the middle between Facebook and Linkedin but without a specific soul or mission. It is not enough to create a social network. And create it mimicking the most successful one is NOT an option for a place called Google.

At Google they have a lot of resources and should be trying to invent something new rather then trying to reinvent the wheel.

Why “likers” are NOT a criteria of success on Facebook

These days, when we read a brief about a Facebook activity, we often find in it a specific range of “fans” (or better say likers, being FB pages not FAN pages anymore) to be achieved as one of the main KPIs of the project.

No matter how talented and social-media-expert is the market man of the company that’s sitting in front of us in the brief meeting. This KPI is a giant piece of crap.

Here’s why:

1) PEOPLE LIKES ARE EPHEMERAL.

this is a fact. Most of the times we click like on something that got our attention at the moment, but that does not necessarily means we feel a link to that brand/product or that we want to follow its entire life cycle.

Think about it. When you are walking in the streets and notice a funny dog, a beautiful human being or a nice dress in a store window, you might be willing to show it to the friends walking with you and tell them “check it out!”. But that DOES not mean you are willing to receive information from them in the next years…(unless they come from the beautiful human being…)

2) PEOPLE USE LIKE AND SHARE FOR THE SAME PURPOSES

We just said this in reason number 1: clicking on like does NOT mean you actually want to follow something. For obvious this may be, most of FB users click on LIKE to show their contacts that they appreciate something. Check out your and your friends’ timelines. How many shared pages can you find? People rarely share a page, they like it. And that’s also their way to share it. But let us repeat it once more: this does not mean that they actually have any connection to the brand/product that page belongs to.

3) ADS ON FACEBOOK CAN BOOST PERFORMANCE BUT NOT QUALITY

FB ads campaigns can increase your total amount of fans. And this can be reached spending peanuts compared to what brands are used to spend in banners, or worse, tv ads. That’s because of the platform ability to segment users’ interests and lifestyle and to be relevant in proposing the ads.
Alas, this powerful ability is also a major threat to a successful FB strategy. 
Infact you might happen, as it did to us, to have 30.000 likes a day on your page to then discover you have little interaction. Or, even worse, you might happen to notice that every time you post anything on your wall you lose fans.
How is this possible? For reason number 1 and 2.
Facebook ads maximize visibility to a target of people that will have some interest in what you’re trying to sell but they ultimately won’t change the fact that LIKING is not being really connected or interested.

FINAL CONSIDERATION

Facebook was born to connect people. And infact the new “subscribe” interaction adds a lot of value to this logic. I can now twitter-like “follow”  someone and/or decide to make friends. But if we compare this with the relationship I can have with brands there’s a missing factor in the equation:

FRIENDSHIP : SOMEONE = LIKE : BRAND 

SUBSCRIBE : SOMEONE = X : BRAND

Somehow at guerrilla thinkers we think that this will have to be solved in the very next future, maybe when FB headquarters will decide to give a twist to the fan pages layout and turn it into awesome timeline style pages.
In the meantime someone made predictions on how those timelined new pages could be.
Check it out.

FACEBOOK AND TWITTER FACTS

What are the differences between Facebook and twitter?
Here are some facts.
More will follow on the way.

1) STORYTELLING VS ANNOUNCEMENT

Facebook is about telling stories.
Like an epiphany, the new timeline look and feel revealed the real mission behind our Facebook profiles: not just sharing, not just microblogging but TELLING THE STORY OF US. Facebook is a life resumè where all of us are selling a cooler, more beautiful and entertaining version of us.
Twitter is not. Is information, full stop. Short messages to announce a thing and a link to read or watch more.

2)  FACEBOOK IS THE WEB. TWITTER IS… THE NEW FACEBOOK (??)

With its huge growth and reach Facebook ended up replacing the web as main source of information and time spent.
Brands are moving a lot of money into it and some of them are starting to think they might want to redirect their website URLs onto their Facebook page or profile.
READ AS: Facebook is the new web.

And that’s why twitter is the new Facebook. Being less concentrated in “selling” people or brand and being more focused on providing direct and immediate news and infos, its power might be immense in the next future. At least until they don’t decide to screw it all up and some new twitter-facebook-like social media platform will pop up and benefit of the need that people have to share and communicate.

3) CONTENT WILL BE MORE AND MORE KING

no matter how many friends or followers you have. No matter whether they came naturally or are the results of a budget you invested in Facebook ads or sponsored tweets.
Is what you give to them that makes a difference.
Define a plan. Decide the tone of voice you want to have. Decide what you want to say and how.
On Facebook you don’t want to have LIKERS, you want to have relationships.
And if you have many twitter followers, you’d better make sure they follow you right to the place you want them to go.

Because our thoughts are like weapons.

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