Facebook advertising: the good, the bad.

The jury is still out on whether or not Facebook advertising actually works well or not. From what I have seen so far it is as I suspected: it works for some (the ones who comprehend HOW to ENGAGE people) and not for others (the ones who are NOT ENGAGING).This post on Technobabble has a couple of good examples on the above: Coke and Fox. Coke does an abysmal job of utilizing Facebook. Just have a look at their page and see for yourself: it is stale, stuffy, and worst of all: not engaging whatsoever. As one Ms Flaitz writes on Coke’s wall: “So, If coca-cola really wants to pretend that it’gets’ facebook….the lame company overview has to go”. Coke doesn’t give their fans any rich content. It’s not like they don’t have any videos, or competitions, or creative Marketing/Advertising people (at least this is what I assume, it being Coca-Cola and all), but they choose not to use them. Also, they are not involving their fans: Facebook allows you for example to record and post videos INSIDE the platform. How about a user-generated video contest? Or a Facebook application?Fox is doing a bit better. Have a look here.I really liked this one though: jobsearch-website Seek‘s Facebook ad. Not only does it give their fans a rich site with videos (their TV ads), it actually gets them involved with a survey, an application they can add to their profile which tells them about new jobs coming up, some advice ressources on how to put together a good CV, and more. This is reflected in the use of this group (e.g. active fans having discussions) and the number of members (3410 – over 2000 more than just a week ago).All this is pointing to the underlying principle of utilizing Social Media as a Marketing/Communications tool: you need to ENGAGE (with) PEOPLE. That is the only thing that works. The rules of traditional advertising do not apply here. I will keep monitoring advertising on Facebook closely and keep you up-to-date.  P.S.: I am not a fan of any of the above companies (neither online nor offline)… but I am not averse to the idea of declaring myself a fan of an organization at all. Are you a fan of a sponsored group (company or individual) on Facebook?

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A look into Seesmic

I have written about Seesmic before, I’ve showed it around, and I have talked about it quite a bit at work, but it is still a wee while until it is going to be open to everyone. In the meantime you can watch this little video to get a better idea of it. I think Seesmic still needs a bit of work, but it is getting there. I am certainly not using it as much as I would like to, mainly because to me video is very instantaneous. And whenever I would like to share something, I am usually outdoors or in cafes in Wellington, with either bad or no internet access at all. (Can’t wait to go to Europe now – free, reliable wireless internet all over the place!) But I shall try harder to post videos from home.Curious to see what happens once it opens to a greater public. 

Strategy first!

“Everybody’s” favourite Social Network Facebook released a feature for targeted advertising last week. If you’re a company, you can now register it on Facebook, and people can be your fans (rather than your friends).

Furthermore, you can buy flyers that are then displayed on people’s profiles. And: you can target those people as well according to their demographic, their interests etc.All sounds really great. I am still monitoring, how this actually pans out, in order to be able to give sound advice on it. So far I have seen that it can work for some companies, but – just like all other Social Media – it needs to be applied in the right circumstances. Translation: you need a strategic approach!

Web strategist Jeremiah Owyang made a few good points in regards to this:(in excerpts)”1)

What’s your objective in joining Social Networks? (…)
2) Is Facebook the right network for you? (…)
3) Do you already have a social networking hub elsewhere? (…)
4) Once you send customers t o this page, what’s in it for them? (…)
5) (…) How does this integrate with the rest of your strategies?
6) How do you measure success? (…)
7) How will you have a conversation with your community? (…)

“Read the full post here.

I fully agree with these points – and more: even though these new Facebook features are agreat addition for some, I still think that keeping a well-managed personal Facebook profile is very important when communicating with your peers in many cases.

Supporting actress

Just a brief post to give you a bit more information on the WGA strike:Here is an interesting article by actress Susan Savage about the reasons for the strike.And for those of you who wish to express their support for the WGA members on strike, follow this linkto sign an online petition.   

The “best of” the WGA strike… so far

The wind is changing in Hollywood and TV-land. Let me give you an overview on the WGA strike so far, before telling you why this is happening (and what I think it means).

Hollywood’s writers have been in talks with producers for a while now in order to come to a new arrangement regarding their fees when it comes to DVD sales and content that is being released online or on mobile devices (phones, iPods, …). A resolution was not achieved by 31st October (when their current contracts expired), and now the writers are on strike until this issue is resolved. 

What does this mean for TV viewers? Basically, a lot of re-runs, prolonged newscasts and a lack of topical comedy. Shows like Letterman or the Jay Leno Show rely heavily on their writers to come up with topical jokes. Their production has stopped already, and networks have started showing repeats. 

In the past few days there have been a flood of great reports on the strike. Instead of rehashing this information I’ll point you directly to the articles, so you can get a good picture of what’s going on:

The BBC reports on the talk shows hit by the writers strike.

Wired has an article on the ripple effects of the writers strike on the advertising deals and a possible (and probable) shift of media use (more print and – of course – web use) during the change of programming. 

 Variety has an article on how the strike came about (and whether or not it could have been prevented).

The Huffington Post has several articles: this one is about three more shows that have cancelled production; this one has a good summary of the course of events so far; and this one by Alec Baldwin talks about the effects of the last strike in ’88 (which was 22 weeks long), and what this one could mean for the greater LA economy that is closely connected to the film biz.


Why is this happening? Because there is a paradigm shift occurring in the traditional business model of film distribution. The lions share of the money that Hollywood makes comes in through licence and selling to the “in-home” market (DVDs, TV, Internet). The salaries of the writers are not reflecting this shift though. And because Hollywood is desperately trying to hold on to an old model that is rapidly going out the window this strike is on. 

I am pretty confident that the writers will get their way. Firstly: no script, no show. It’s as simple as that. There are a lot of people that can be replaced in the filmproduction process, but without writers no one else can go to work. Secondly: the paradigm shift. Hollywood has seen a transformation of the classic “Window-System” in the past years: the theatrical release gets less important, and the major source of income is now the “In-home” market. The writers know that – that’s why they are making those demands. Even if the “Window-System” isn’t completely out of the picture yet, it is certainly transforming rapidly. And the writers contracts should reflect that. 

What do you think? Have you been affected by the strike? Are you for example a The Daily Show-fan and are now having to put up with re-runs? Share your thoughts!