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Guest Post and Think Piece -Facebook is not the Internet

Author – Pauline Joseph
Managing Director, AC Marketing

Photo credit : William Iven

One of my colleagues recommended my company to manage their client’s social media presence with this specific request, ‘We want to go on Facebook and Instagram.’ After meeting with them, it’s clear this B2B company required a Brand overhaul with an agreed marketing strategy for both offline and online media. It was interesting to see their uncertainty when I asked the simple question, “…why do you want to go on these platforms?” I really can’t blame them, as the power of Facebook is in their numbers, however the lack of Marketing Strategy is surprisingly common. This has to change.

The shift to Social Media is a positive one for my business, however the inability to see the true value is stifling growth for the industry. Some SMEs even shift their entire marketing spend to Facebook, which is not entirely a bad thing because small businesses usually have limited resources and the Free option is undeniably attractive. For the larger corporations they have slowly come to the realization that they have to be part of this existing conversation, even if they seem like that awkward friend that no one invited. This becomes problematic when the value of Social Media is skewed by the commonness of it all. To put it simply, just because I can easily buy a scissors, doesn’t mean I’m going to stand in front of a mirror and play hairdresser.

Among my friends and family, I find it quite extraordinary how difficult it is for them to search for information. I was having coffee with a friend in Barbados and he was asking about a reasonably priced accommodation in Tobago. Imagine my surprise when I found out he had no idea what Airbnb was, my exact words to him were “…you’ve disgraced our generation.” #DontCallYourselfAMillennial Putting jokes aside, it’s quite worrying how heavily we rely on Facebook to give us information, because this ‘free’ platform is not out for our best interest. This article by Ericka Anderson will elaborate and if you like podcasts, then you definitely need to listen to this Freakonomics Podcast – Is the Internet Being Ruined?

My fear is that although Trinidad and Tobago prides itself with having 80% of its population using the internet, we’re simply sending them to Facebook. I’m not sure if this is an egg before the chicken conversation, because the corporate entities are simply interested in a high return on their Marketing spend while the wider population will adapt to what’s easily available. It’s great that we’ve moved beyond the validity of Social Media, however we have to evolve the conversation to a holistic approach to your Marketing Strategy and to ensure we identify the best platforms for your brand because Facebook is not the Internet.

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