Blog: Dean BestBrand-owners! Don't be seduced by Facebook!

Dean Best | 8 November 2007

Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are the new frontier for consumer goods companies.

Marketing execs wax lyrical about how such sites can broaden the reach of their products and how brands can get closer to consumers than they can through “old” media like TV and newspapers.

This week, Facebook announced a plan to allow users to seemingly advertise products on behalf of companies on the site. For instance, if I was to buy a product on Blockbuster’s website, I will have the option of sending a message to my “friends” on the site telling them all about it.

According to UK newspaper The Times, over 60 companies – including Coca-Cola and Sony – have already signed up to join the scheme.

Of course, the plans gives marketers the chance to further tailor their advertising to a potential market of over 50m – currently the number of users on Facebook.

However, there is the danger that brand-owners could get a bit giddy at the thought of that potential, focus too much of their time and resources to this new media and ignore the “old” media.

Marketing teams behind big brands should be wary of fragmenting their efforts. The biggest challenge for brand-owners is not the battle to be at the forefront of these new media but to make sure their campaigns are integrated.

We all read newspapers and we all watch TV. An integrated campaign that works across all media would bear more fruit than a fragmented, hot-potch of ideas for TV, texts, Facebook, and print that could damage a brand’s credentials.


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