Adweek has a great article on advertisers’ continuing struggle to connect with Facebook users. The full article by Brian Morrissey is worth reading, since he provides some in-depth examples of marketing-driven applications that have failed to catch on with the audience.
Some of the pitfalls? Applications that are too slick or brand-driven (vs. user-driven), and campaigns that use pay-per-install networks to generate huge initial returns but then see a dramatic fall-off. What’s working? Taking it one step at a time, partnering with existing apps such as RockYou’s Pieces of Flair or Slide’s FunSpace.
The net net is that there is no magic bullet. Social media marketing initiatives are still at an experimental stage. Brands are better off experimenting with a number of smaller initiatives and learning how their brand can thrive in this new environment in a way that’s engaging and feels authentic to the audience. Start small, get lots of feedback from your audience — maybe even find ways to get the audience to help you figure out what to do — learn, and then build from there.
Most importantly, don’t let some of the negative coverage throw you off. Social media is here to stay, and will continue to influence and change how you connect with customers.