2.8.2011 | Ian Baer
Yes, I said it. When I talk to people who market brands for a living, which is mostly what I do for a living, I’m always a bit troubled when they talk about prioritizing a “Facebook strategy.”
Now don’t get me wrong. Anyone who knows me knows I love Facebook, and it’s the primary way I stay connected with my whole world. My clients, coworkers, friends and family are all there and I delight in the way my mom, my former CVS client, and a guy I’ve known since nursery school all weigh in on topics ranging from the future of the Internet to my lifelong love of the Yankees. But having a Facebook strategy doesn’t really take into account how the Web works, or even how people use Facebook.
Facebook may be the place hundreds of millions of people live online, but we use the Internet in other ways when we shop, work, hunt for information, and seek help with acute problems. And when we see something on Facebook that we want to share in the outside world—a business article for LinkedIn, a video that our Yahoo! group would love, or a hot tip we’d like to blast to an email list—we hit a roadblock.
Over the past couple of years, Facebook has been consistently measured as having 25–35% of social media traffic. But if all you’re doing for your brand is maximizing your Facebook standing, you’re missing out on two-thirds of the conversation. And unlike Facebook’s consistent third, that other two-thirds is volatile as heck.
A recent analysis shows that StumbleUpon, with one-tenth the number of active users of Facebook, now accounts for a higher percentage of social traffic: a whopping 43%. So if you’ve been focused on Facebook alone, you weren’t there when Microsoft brilliantly optimized StumbleUpon to sell three times more Xbox Kinect units than projected.
By optimizing the content found wherever conversations, searches and follies are happening, you gain the impact of the entire fragmented social spectrum of the Internet. And thanks to Facebook Connect, the good content you find and want can be pulled into Facebook, while also getting linked on Twitter and being available to the next big site or platform automatically.
So the next time someone asks you about your “Facebook strategy,” tell them you’ve decided to live where your audience lives: all over the wide-open and wonderful Internet.
Now, discuss amongst yourselves…