Well, it didn't take long for Fast Company to revert to form. Last week they published a self-promotion piece disguised as an article called Why You Should Buy Facebook (And Sell GM). It was written by a "content" hound and it explains to us dinosaurs, with great forbearance, why "content" shared on Facebook is the new online marketing magic.
According to his guy, like everything else in the long line of online marketing miracle cures, content -- especially that which is shared on Facebook -- will soon be replacing traditional advertising.
As usual, the argument is not a discussion of facts, it's the oft-told battle between the tired old forces of reaction and the heroic new crusaders of virtue.
Conveniently, the author neglects to inform us that the identical claims have been made for previous online wonders including podcasts, blogs, banners, widgets, user generated content, Twitter, apps, YouTube... and it has all proven to be seriously delusional.
So fire up your cliche meter, here we go.
"There's a battle brewing between the old-world thinking of Madison Avenue and Wall Street and the mindset of the Facebook generation...Facebook is about replacing traditional ads with shared content; it's about new ways of sharing with friends and strangers, not old, failing ways of shilling for products...This guy needs a jargon make-over. If he's going to be channeling the magnificently wonderful "Facebook generation" he really ought to stop quoting 5-year old social media powerpoints.
Also, we idiots are...
"...famous for opposing any threat to (our) power and (our) ancient ways of operating"Yeah, all this power is really going to my head. And does anyone know where I can get my abacus re-beaded?
You see, we are suffering from...
"...a complete failure to understand where Facebook's real economic value lies... (we) should be dreaming that a friend or a stranger shares an online link to a piece of content authored by their brands."I think the operative word here is "dreaming."
He also inadvertently neglects to include the two most important facts about advertising and marketing on Facebook:
- Click through rates are a staggering 5 in 10,000
- Engagement rates with "shared content" are below 1/2 of 1%
Apparently unconcerned that Facebook makes about 85% of its money on paid advertising -- not shared content -- the author concludes...
"It doesn't take a genius to figure out how Mark Zuckerberg and his shareholders will make money on this exploding phenomenon."This confirms something I've suspected for a long time. I'm no genius.