I had always been a contrarian to Facebook. My previous employer really didn't have a place on Facebook and I had always viewed it as overrated. I guess something that "everybody is doing" is rarely up my alley (which is somewhat weird for a marketer right?). However, working in the agency world and having to work knee-deep in the Facebook brand page world, I've gained a whole new respect for the platform. I guess my disrespect for Facebook stemmed from almost anyone I talked to looking at Facebook as the redemptive answer to all of their socialmarketing needs. I remember when I first started at Hinda Incentives out of school, I spoke with many of their clients and even a few small business contacts I had on my own about how to just dip a toe into the social space. Everyone was way into Facebook. When approached, my question was always "what are you wanting to achieve with a fan page?" The answer was always "get more Likes."
Likes aren't a marketing objective.
Hinda's target market really wasn't Facebook specific so I established a fan page to more or less secure a vanity URL. Then I just plain forgot about it. And still despised it. I hated Farmville. Thought Facebook was way overhyped and was too often used as an interchangeable term for "social media," when I knew deep down that social was so much more than a Facebook page. Even "breakthrough" e-commerce solutions on Facebook I viewed as way overrated.
Then I Jumped Over to B2C
When I started working for Engauge at the end of March, I joined a world that swung the pendulum in the other direction. While I was very blog and Twitter heavy in my old line of work, the client work at Engauge was very much Facebook heavy. This was probably my biggest adjustment in regards to strategic thinking. I hadn't really had to think about how to engage on Facebook and - before Engauge - it wasn't a priority. Now that I've worked in it for a while, my attitude has shifted.
Facebook is its own ecosystem. Though you have to play by their rules and are limited by their page dimensions, there is a lot of brand experience potential, especially with social currency, apps and games. What really impresses me about Facebook is it's social graph. There is a lot of sharing capabilities with Facebook and can be a sort of "best of the web" landing spot. It encourages you to go out of Facebook to find stuff but make it a repository of cool stuff that you like.
Despite all that, I still don't think a Facebook fan page should replace your website.
It took a couple of months but I have ultimately grown a little bit of a soft spot for Facebook. How about you all? Is it here to stay?