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Marketers Are Ruining Facebook for Marketing
Marketers were first attracted to Facebook because it let them connect with consumers in their own environment, in an authentic, personal way.

So why are businesses doing everything possible to turn Facebook into a cluttered, slick, commercial environment just like traditional media?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that we are on the brink of destroying the very elements that made Facebook so special and effective.

What do I mean?
  • We’re incenting consumers to Like our page with the promise of free coupons. Is that really building brand loyalty? Or, is that attracting bargain seekers who will ignore our non-promotional posts in the future?
  • We’ve added “Like Gates” requiring people to Like our page before they can get to content. Does that communicate that we want to personally connect with brand advocates?
  • We’ve come up with custom welcome tabs that look just like traditional ads. Isn’t that making Facebook into exactly the type of overly commercial environment we were trying to escape?

There’s still some time for marketers to return to a simple, real approach to Facebook where brands integrate into consumers’ environment and communicate like true friends. Alternately, there will be plenty of time to regret what Facebook could have been, but isn’t.

We should think about...
  • How much of our Facebook strategy is focused on driving our number of Likes?
  • If our only goal was to truly connect with consumers as friends, what would we do differently on Facebook?
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