Forrester’s Misguided Condemnation of Facebook

By Tim Bosch Last week Forrester published a surprisingly harsh and ambiguous blog regarding the strength of Facebook as a marketing channel. Forrester implies marketers should abandon Facebook.  However, for most of us, this is a terrible idea. This report along with the claim that Facebook is failing marketers is wrong for so many reasons.

Don’t Blame The Platform, Blame Yourself!

The unprecedented reach, data access and targeting capabilities of Facebook is a game changer for marketers. Look at those who are having success and challenge yourselves to think differently. Success is clearly being had (we see it every day).  If you have not found success on Facebook yet - you are at a serious competitive disadvantage. Don’t blame the platform, blame yourself. More importantly- don’t abandon the platform, FIX IT!

The broader fundamental issue are companies that cling to the notion that marketing is easy. Facebook’s ROI is only as good as the people applying it to a well-conceived content plan within a sound measurement strategy.

Of these 395 Marketers surveyed, who has been using Custom Audiences and Conversion Tracking? Who has created unpublished page posts to niche affinity groups within their own fan-base? Who has created personas that drive content production? Maybe none. Maybe all of them- we don’t really know much about these 395 marketers unless you want to pay $500 for the report.

Facebook Is The Biggest Mobile Marketing Channel

Facebook Marketing is Mobile Marketing. We no longer have the option to ignore our social mobile consumers. 80% of daily US Facebook users are on mobile devices & Facebook is the market share leader in mobile advertising. If you’re brand is on Facebook, you are already a mobile marketer. For now, Facebook is clearly the optimal channel to reach the mobile consumer at scale.

Social Media Marketers are always figuring out the best mix of tactics to drive the outcomes we need most. Sometimes things work amazing and sometimes they don’t. To give-up “until Facebook mends its ways”, as Forrester suggests, is the wrong direction to take. You need to get in there, use your best marketing expertise and figure out what works for you. If you don’t, you will have to live with the other ROI—The Risk of Ignoring-- while your competitors are maturing their strategy and learning what works.

I didn't get into the many mathematical issues that coincide with this odd damnation of Facebook. But one that immediately jumps out is that there is less than 10%  of difference (0.3 out of 5) between any of the marketing channels used in this survey. Since Forrester claims this survey is a relevant representation of how marketers feel towards Facebook, it makes you curious what the margin of error was in this sample?

What do you think about the state of Facebook Marketing?

Tim