Posts Tagged ‘facebook’
Seems like every month there is something released in the press talking about how social networking is taking over the world. It’s the greatest revolution since the dawn of the Internet. Of course, the Internet was supposed to be running everything by now, right? Stanley Kubrick had us on the moon, finding the Monolith… or SkyNet was taking over the world. Take your pick. Either way, we ended up with the iPod in 2001 instead of a second sun or a machine revolution.
So, we need something else to sink our sensationalist teeth into. Enter Zucker: The Man and his Social Network. Facebook is exploding in numbers. Everyone is on Facebook. We need to reorganize our entire lives because our grandma friend requested us and Tom from MySpace keeps friend requesting us because he wasn’t automatically added to our friend list! God forbid the boss friend requested you on Facebook either (although that was very unlikely given that people over 40 don’t use Facebook).
Of course, we have plenty of time for all this social networking because nobody has jobs! Comscore says email usage is down and social networking is up among teens. Besides those who hold a doctorate degree in mathematics, I can’t think of another demographic that has a higher level of unemployment than teenagers! This isn’t a dig at teenagers, it’s just an observation of fact. Teenagers don’t really have 9-5 jobs, and they certainly won’t get an office job if they know how to use Facebook but don’t know how to use a spreadsheet and attach it to an email.
Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make here is that there is an eerie correlation between the unemployment rate and the rise of social networking. I’m not saying that social networking causes unemployment. I’m saying that unemployment causes social networking. Traffic on Linked-in has shot up big time because people are trying to network with long lost friends from the pre-dotcom bubble to find jobs. Traffic on Facebook has shot up because there’s plenty of time to spend stalking your friends and hoping to find something to do with your abundance of free time because you haven’t had a job for 15 months.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or read something about Facebook being the best place for a business to advertise. Those saying this a scam artists who sprinkle in a few “gee that makes sense” bits of information to make people think that Facebook has some magic formula for advertising. The keyword BS used to pitch Facebook as the Google killer is “demographics”.
It has been shoved down our throats for decades that demographics produce better ad results. Television, radio, newspapers all pride themselves on their demographics, and there is tremendous value to demographics. Running a tampon ad in Men’s Health isn’t going to fair too well. Running an advertisement for a$100K Lexus in Double-wide Quarterly is probably not going to perform well either. So, the Internet scam artists use this concept to prey on unsuspecting victims at Internet marketing seminars to get people to buy into the hype of Facebook.
The reality is that search behavior is the best indicator of a person’s interest in a product or service NOT whether they are 50+, own a home, have 2.5 kids, or make more than $250K/year. Still, people buy into the hype around Facebook because it has beat out Google in visits finally. Still, Facebook advertisements are passive, not active. You have a lure someone into being interested in something you have to sell rather than them going out and search for you.
I’m going to take this one step further and just analyze my own advertisements that I see on Facebook vs. other websites, like moviefone.com (which has absolutely no demographic information about me other than my zip code). My Facebook ads are predominantly dating website ads. At the time of this blog, my Facebook relationship status is single. If I were to change that, I would receive more Mafia Wars ads instead of dating website ads. I’m not saying these ads are worthless. Online dating is bigger than porn now, so it makes sense that I’d see a myriad of dating website ads on my Facebook pages when I am listed as Single.
What ads do they display on moviefone.com for me? The Buffet of Buffet ads for Las Vegas! I was just in Vegas for a trade show. I visited several websites related to Vegas while searching for a hotel to stay at. Am I going back to Vegas right away? No. However, I remember the Buffet of Buffet advertisements in Vegas when I was there, and I sure will be tempted to get this deal next time I visit (probably in about 4 months). That’s good advertising!
Here’s a tip for Facebook’s search team. Return search results from my own posts that match what I’m searching for. I post quite a bit on Facebook (much to the dismay of my friends, I’m sure), so posts from earlier in the day or a day before don’t show up on my profile page. Yet, it would be nice to be able to find something I posted on there before. Yes, there are ways I can filter around things, but I like search. Search is my friend.
Where this becomes useful is that I’m not alone in posting things that I find interesting or useful. Often time, I want to reference those links or quotes and either didn’t bookmark or can’t remember exactly what the information was. If Facebook could become a reference point for people, it would make Facebook more useful than it is now and in some ways trump Google.
We all know that Facebook wants to be a search source, but honestly how much time is spent searching for people on the Internet (except by stalkers). I search for resources and research for resources on Google all the time. Most of the time I find a good resource, I post it on Facebook. By utilizing this information and giving me easier access to this information, Facebook search would become HIGHLY relevant for resource searching (which is really want the Internet is all about).