Just about every day I run into someone who tells me how much they hate Facebook. Last week it was a friend who thinks the whole thing is stupid. Her attitude, "I talk to all of my close friends so why do I have to put stuff up on Facebook?"
Today, I talked with business person who said he wanted me to drive traffic to his website, not his Facebook page. "Why should I help Facebook add 1,000 new members?"
I really don't have an answer for my friend who doesn't want to reconnect with other people, but I do have some thoughts for the business person who really wants traffic to the website instead of Facebook.
Facebook can drive traffic to that website. It's an enabler.
Recently, Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer for General Mills did an hour interview on Minnesota Public Radio's Bright Ideas.While the interview covered a wide range of marketing topics,Addicks weighed in on social media, including Facebook.
Hobson: There's obviously a lot of pressure for every business to be really involved in these social networking sites and what they do. On the other hand, I assume there are people at the top saying "Why are we spending all this time doing this stuff? When is it going to start translating into sales? When are a million friends on Facebook going to mean a million dollars in the account?"
Addicks: It's a great question. The truth is, as marketers, you're always looking at what you do and say, are we adding value or not? What's value added, what isn't? I would say for us as well as most marketers, they've already started answering that question, like what's the value of being a friend? What are the high value things, services we offer that consumers really like to be a part of? That journey is whether you're talking about General Mills or you're talking about Target or you're talking about Best Buy, or any kind of category that journey has started, because it's a new place to engage and talk. And so, people are trying to figure out, what are the conditions that we have that conversation? But, we do know, for instance, there are brands that have been launched or live exclusively in the social atmosphere. They don't have television commercials.
Hobson: Like what?
Addicks: Fiber One bars is one that we've done that's been hugely successful. I don't think it had any traditional media. I think it was introduced largely through the social network, was very... And it...
Hobson: Why do think it worked so well?
Addicks: Great idea, very fundamental idea. And what I think we've learned, what I learned out of that is, by knowing the brand champion, then... And what you're seeing a lot in small companies and big companies, go out and find your brand champion and engage, sample, and then they'll be highly viral.