social-marketingIt’s been about 12 years since the time I really got familiar with eMarketing. At that time, neither I knew about eMarketing in its modern meaning, nor it involved so many new and various concepts, nor there were this many eMarketing experts in the world.

I guess that eMarketing experts are two groups. First, there are those who are fond of marketing and of course love their jobs, and second there are those for whom entering NASA is a big dream so they are forced to choose this job. The important fact, however, is that the title “eMarketer” requires enough expertise and proper mentality about the market rather than being solely a title. Nevertheless, we witness many of these seeming specialists every day who have to even concern about their monthly apartment rent.

But does the presence of such experts, whose number is not of course small, reduce the significance of this issue? Not at all! On the contrary, not only the importance of eMarketing to help marketing plans of the organizations is reduced, but due to saturated competitions a harder path than what can be imagined is placed ahead of you.

Before the time the issue of social networks became like what it is today, everyone used to talk about SEO (banner and text advertisements that is to replace the previous generation) and SEO experts talked so much about the importance of SEO that if your name did not appear on the first and of course top of the result page of Google or other search engines, you would lose everything. Now that the issue of social networks has come up, they claim that if your social network page does not enjoy a lot of traffic, sooner or later you will lose the game. What I understand from such claims is robbing the title of marketing and blending it forcibly with electronic.

So today, as someone who first entered the realm of eMarketing and then became a marketer, I’m going to remind you of the fatal blows you will get from eMarketing unwantedly. But before beginning, we should answer this question whether eMarketing and social marketing, which is an important part of the eMarketing, are dangerous for our businesses? If you do not know what you want, yes!

Branding and marketing in Facebook!

As you will see later, this article has been written about the B2C business model and talking about B2Bs needs another occasion. But I think that by googling “branding and marketing in Facebook”, you’ll come across thousands of articles in different languages that talk about the importance and methods of social marketing and Facebook marketing as well as several other mendacious topics. Who are their writers? Professionals and eMarketing companies!

Until the time I was in Iran, my colleagues opened an official Facebook page in Persian in my name (my previous name) and it was constantly updated with various subjects, and in not too long it attracted about 4,500 followers which comparatively is still the highest number among that of my rivals. That page, however, is no longer active as I closed it forever. Many people sent emails to me and my colleagues to say that it had been a good and useful page and ask why I wouldn’t reactivate it. As a marketing specialist, however, I must first consider my own benefits. Now that I’m not in that market anymore, why should I provide free service to the audience who are not interested in studying sources in English? Although it was not expensive for me, after all it had given costs for me.

At that time, the page director had found out that if he would upload motivational contents on the page, the number of the audience as well as active followers of the page could increase. But there was only one problem. Each day, the number of dreaming people that spent their time on reading motivational words increased and when it came to action, they said that they would start from the next Monday. Conversely, the main audience of my works contacted me and criticized me about the lack professional contents on the page. If you just want to show off with the number of your Facebook page followers, you can do what I used to, but if you’re looking for making profit or branding via Facebook, you should sacrifice quantity for quality.

But let’s compare this with a few prominent samples. Perhaps, that I am not known like them is the reason for such an interpretation. My famousness in the realm of marketing is not comparable with someone like Michael E. Porter, because I have just changed my work place from one continent to another and I first need to introduce myself to my new audience. While I’m writing this article, Prof. Porter’s Facebook page has about 50,000 followers. Such a number for someone who works in a specialized area most of whose audience are into the same field of business or studies is very good. But what I have understood from the stats about his Facebook page is that few people care what is going on his page. From among 50,000 members, fewer than 220 people should have shared the content of his page?

The screenshot of Michael E Porter’s FB

With such a scale, my page with 4500 followers was a giant as compared with that of Pro. Porter because the average of sharing my page was ten times greater. What is certain is that Facebook pages, as they are supposed be, are not useful for us, the experts. But I’m sure that social marketing in Facebook has different numbers and figures for someone like Kim Kardishian. But what is this number like for someone like ZigZiglar?

Neither I nor Michael Porter is the winner of the competition. ZigZiglar is indeed the winner with about two million seven hundred thousand members and more than three million and six hundred thousand times of sharing the content of his page. There’s a proverb which reads “There is a time and a place for everything”. You just need to find where the right place in social networks is for your words and business tips.

The screenshot of Ziglar’s FB

What is the eMarketing world like for products?

What mentioned above can be an example for marketing for companies and service products. But does this also apply to products?

Before talking about this, let me explain an important issue which has already preoccupied your mind. Probably you ask yourself if thousands of people around the world are doing wrong and only you are right. The answer is that I really do not know if I am the only person who has such a claim or many others do also believe in it. However, analyzing an issue to understand the reality cannot certainly be the only measure to count critics and this is not indeed a quantitative measure. I think it is necessary to retell the story of Newton about claiming that the Earth is round!

If you’re already a member of Facebook, go to your profile and click on the list of pages that you have joined. If you are among the old or devoted users of Facebook, you’re definitely the member of too many different pages that for some you just realize that you are the member of! now, with so many of pages which can exceed tens or hundreds, how can a brand make sure that when it is updating its page in the United States, you are waiting for it in Australia, no one else is updating his or her page; and he or she is uploading the very thing you like?

I’m sure you’re a fan of a particular brand. For example, Nike is probably one of your popular brands for sports apparel and accordingly you’re a member of its Facebook page. On the other hand, I think that you never visit its page even once in a blue moon. If so, congratulations! You are the only person among other 60,000 who has visited his or her loved brand unlike the twenty-two million and six hundred thousand members of the Facebook.

The screenshot of official Nike fans page on FB

But if you’re a fan of Nike, then it is very likely that when you want to buy sports clothing or shoes or when you want to suggest a brand to someone else, Nike comes to your mind. This is, however, despite the fact that you spend very little time visiting its pages on social networks. You may be one of the fervent Nike fans, but because of the more interesting and fun updates of such and such Adidas, you wander in their social network page. But who is the winner? It is the one which manages to reach your bank account because of your loyalty!

Albert Einstein was apparently right by saying that two things don‘t end: the universe and the human stupidity. In the meantime, our stupidities make brand owners do stupidities to seek becoming the best, to become more profitable and more popular and to have more fans. Not only does Nike have a Facebook page, but it has dozens of other pages for different products, different things and in different languages. What I see from the statistics is that its very homepage at www.bf.com/nike has the best condition in terms of views and audience, and the rest are in a worse situation. So why doesn’t Nike keep its money to spend it in a more effective place rather than the stupidity of spending it on social networks such as Facebook? The suggestion that I have for Nike is that it should at least delete all its social networks pages and hold on to main page and update it in how many languages it wants. Just do it!

I do not really understand why many companies which have already done something for success but it has turned into a fiasco do the same thing and every time expect different outcome!

Let’s imagine that Aston Martin is supposed to increase his activity in social networks. If an unskilled eMarketing expert comes face to face with Aston Martin’s managers, what will he say? If Aston Martin is supposed to listen to his words, he must allocate some big budget for social networks so that an teenager who has not yet got his driver’s license or one who has a driver’s license but has no money visit his page. But the question is whether:

  • Aston Martin’s customers are teenagers or parents of these teenagers.
  • Social networks are more profitable for Aston Martin or displaying his cars in James Bond movies.
  • What percentage of social networks audience can buy such cars.
  • What percentage of people who buy such cars spend their time on social networking sites.
  • Aside from the fact that I have a positive and special view about video marketing and I will soon write about it, I recommend you to once more bear in mind some questions before spending time and money on the socials and instead of eMarketing answer those questions. eMarketing is an art rather than a science and its status in the marketing is like a tool. By interpreting the meaning of concepts mistakenly or changing their meaning the reality does not change.

Once more scrutinize your plans for social eMarketing and social marketing and bear in mind the proverb that I reminded you of: “There is a time and a place for everything”.

Author: Tom Cyrus