Facebook vs. Dot Coms

I once joked with Parker that as soon as we managed to get a Facebook.com URL on the end of a TV spot, our work at DDB Canada would be done. It was a flippant comment but one that speaks to many things, more than the desire to use GRPs to drive fanning or “Like” rates on one of the many social media properties we manage for our clients.

It speaks to an acknowledgment of the importance of our discipline. It speaks to the acknowledgment of the need to have a means with which to interact with one’s target audience. It speaks to the importance of being flexible in one’s marketing and not doing things because it has been done that way before. But more importantly it speaks to putting the consumers, the target audience, the user, first – and respecting them enough to go where they go.

So I was amused to read a whole series of blog posts decrying Uni-ball’s decision to use a Facebook.com URL tag at the end of a :30 second spot. Many smart people have put a lot of virtual ink into this debate (see below for links I enjoyed reading) but for me, it comes down to the Forrester POST methodology:

  • People. Review your target customer’s social behaviors and attitudes.
  • Objectives. Decide on your social technology goals.
  • Strategy. Determine how your objectives will change your relationship with customers.
  • Technology. Choose the appropriate technologies to deploy.

And if the people you are seeking to influence are on Facebook (and we’re certainly seeing a saturation of Facebook users in Canada), then driving to a well managed, feature rich, interaction heavy Facebook page using all available media certainly seems to me to be a valid approach. “Liking” a page on Facebook seems like a pretty good proxy for intent to purchase, and all research I’ve read seems to agree, as well as having the bonus of amplifying the user’s actions to their networks.

Enjoy the links below and let me know your thoughts on this in the comments.

Interview with Uni-ball’s agency’s head on why the team chose to drive users to Facebook vs. the corporate website.

Steve Rubel on dot-coms vs. Facebook URLs

Shel Holtz’s rebuttal of Rubel’s piece

Marketing Pilgrim’s take

For Immediate Release featured this issue as a live debate

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