Facebook is a unique global phenomenon. Other than our email and mobile phones there are few other places in our digital life that we engage with as frequently as Facebook. 58% of Facebook users are updating several times per day. Facebook fills a basic human need for connecting and communicating. Those of us in New Media need to rethink how we leverage the uniqueness of Facebook and not just treat it as yet another outlet for banner ads.
In a recent survey of New Media Professionals conducted by DigiCareers ( www.digicareers.com) some interesting findings emerged. One in particular was the trend towards media professionals trying Facebook advertising and not finding the medium effective and deciding not to return to Facebook for current campaigns. I believe Facebook will work on improving their ad targeting capabilities and over time will work through these issues but for the short term with all of the negative IPO backlash in the press they need to make this a priority. If they can regain the confidence of the New Media buyers than they will quiet the storm of bad press.
New Media Professionals – Rethink the Banner
I believe the burden does not fall entirely on Facebook. As those of us in online advertising know, Banner ads are not a particularly effective media with less than 1% click the rates. So my challenge is to those of us in the industry to look at Facebook as a unique global Social Community and find new ways to engage consumers. Facebook should not just be seen as another media outlet for banner ads. Facebook is different and should be treated approached in new ways that leverage the unique elements of Facebook. I also believe that the Banner ads themselves should be more engaging and be viewed as a content distribution and transaction zone on a site rather than as simply a click-thru traffic mechanism. With todays advances it is possible to deliver content in and through a banner ad and even conduct full eCommerce transactions right from within the banner. So instead of a being just an ad. The banner should become a welcome extension of the site or outlet that it is a part of.
Facebook Survey Results
With the recent attention by the media and Industry participants on Facebook, DigiCareers wanted to understand the behaviors, attitudes, and opinions regarding this popular website and business. Below is a summary based upon the opinions of more than 300 of your New Media colleagues.
The survey was conducted between May 17 and 21, 2012. The collected data possess an aggregate data tolerance of +/- 5.6%.
More than 92% of all New Media Professionals currently use Facebook. Among users, more than one-half (58%) access Facebook multiple times per day with nearly three-quarters (71%) accessing Facebook daily and 95% accessing it at least weekly.
Attitudes Toward Facebook
More than three-quarters (77%) of participants believe Facebook meets a consumer or fundamental human need—ability for individuals to communicate with each other. Nearly a similar percentage of New Media Professionals believe Facebook’s advertising is targeted (71%), and the company provides innovative services (70%).
However, the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook remains a major question in the minds of New Media Professionals. Less than one-half (49%) believe Facebook will be a major force in online advertising and less than one-quarter (23%) believe advertising on Facebook is currently effective. Conversely, however, only one in four (25%) New Media Professionals believe Facebook is a fad.
Advertising on Facebook
Currently, 38% of New Media Professionals have or are currently conducting an advertising campaign on Facebook for their business or their customers’ business. Of those, 90% of the campaigns are consumer oriented (B2C), with the balance focusing upon business-to-business (B2B) activity.
Surprisingly, one-half (50%) of all advertisers stated they either concluded a campaign or decided not to advertise on Facebook based upon the results of a prior campaign on Facebook. This raises some issues for Facebook’s future economic success.
Among those advertising on Facebook, nearly one-half (47%) stated they are likely to recommend advertising on Facebook to a business or colleague.
Barriers to Advertising on Facebook
Among the 62% of New Media Professionals who have never conducted a campaign on Facebook, the perception regarding the limited efficacy is the largest barrier (20%). Surprisingly despite Facebook’s self-service offerings, 17% stated they have not yet had the opportunity to initiate a campaign.
Among all survey participants, the sheer size of Facebook’s audience is identified as a key differentiator from other online advertising venues (55%) followed by the ability to target specific audiences (51%).
While audience engagement levels were cited by more than one-third (34%) of all New Media Professionals, it is likely this engagement level is oriented toward friends, family, and colleagues rather than advertisers.
Based upon advertising performance (or the perception thereof), Facebook clearly has a challenge and corresponding opportunity.
Initial Public Offering
Nearly an equal number of New Media Professionals stated they would purchase shares in Facebook’s Initial Public Offering if they were presented the opportunity. More importantly, an equal number believe Facebook’s stock price will increase (38%) or decrease (37%) from the IPO price within six months.
As New Media Professionals have a unique perspective regarding Facebook, below are characteristics of those who participated in the survey.
Additional Survey Results
Thanks again to all who took the time to share their thoughts and opinions in this survey. Don’t forget to review our prior survey results, including:
Posted by Warren Raisch | June 2, 2012