Facebook and Twitter Suck Part 1

The  pungent smell of a controversy, I just feel it. Here’s the issue.

I just returned from Austin from The Wizard Academy and a three day intensive course about writing and marketing packed with a suitcase full of how to reach customers on their terms. Roy Williams who is one of the most recognized and successful advertising copy writers that I know or have heard about founded the academy quite a few years ago. It was quite an experience and even for me, who is a bit of a conference and knowledge junkie, Roy adds an entirely new level to advertising and creative thinking. He is known to be controversial and more often than not, spot on. Contrary to others he is not afraid to voice his opinion, loud, clear, precise and with a punch. His Monday Morning Memo is read by some 40,000 people (You are welcome to subscribe as well).

This morning he asked and explored a very simple question. Where are the Facebook and Twitter success stories?

I was already giggling when I read the first paragraph. It is so true. We all ran to New Media and started to use it but it was a bit unclear on how this would actually work. As a matter of fact it is still unclear up until today how and if it really works.

The people with the most followers make the most money? Not necessarily so. The people who have like minded people follow make the most money? I think not.  The people who tweet the most and are the most aggressive get others to buy their product? Actually they get on other peoples nerves. People who use it more for personal reasons or feature a constant stream of quotes do best than? I can guarantee that this strategy will not add money to your bank account either.

The question remains. Who has made Facebook or Twitter a true success story?

OK, I know one. My colleague Mari Smith has been able to utilize her Twitter and Facebook experience and turned it into a business. She speaks (for a fee) and educates people how to use both. So there is one. But outside of that I am having a hard time finding anyone who can contribute their success to New Media.

Please read Roy Williams’ post and let me know your thoughts. Story to be continued with a different angle in the next post.

Here is the excerpt:

Facebook and Twitter For Traditional Retail and Service Businesses

I feel a bit like the boy in the Hans Christian Andersen tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes, though I’m not nearly so brave as he. You remember, don’t you? Two weavers promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that will be invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a boy cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”

The Internet is the parade we’re watching and Facebook is its emperor. I’ve seen “naked” and this emperor sure looks it, but I hesitate to shout it out loud because this would be tantamount to a confession of professional incompetence. Click here to read the rest, which will be well worth your time.



  1. says

    I can say that while I've gained a few sales from twitter and FB, I think mainly my posts, twits and twees are carrion for loitering lions. It seems that the people who benefit most (we are talking business here, not media or journalism) from social media are two fold, 1. established companies that have a good product, or a company with a good product that can reach it's audience. 2. the people selling the "how to" services - how to do social media, how to do twitter," and so one.

    The facts are still the same, you have be in the right network no matter what that network looks like. I can honestly say that my best clients and my best work has come from face to face, hands on, burning the midnight oil, nose to the grind, day in and day out hard work!

    Could I have done better, maybe, but FB and Twitter have not been the panacia that some salesmen would want you to believe . . .

    I'm not saying dont do it, i'm saying put it in perspective, just like anything else. Make it a part of your world but keep it in perspective. . .

  2. says

    BTW, I failed to say, or ask the question, why would I post and answer to this question here? The answer, because I like Beate and we are friends . . . Cheers!

    Tony Bynum - "Trails are for hikers, I'm an explorer."

  3. says

    I have tried both and also blogging as all the marketing guru's say we must blog - personally I don't think anyone has time to read them they are all so obsessed with sharing their lives with the rest of the world - as for twitter I feel it is like a contest as to who can out stupid each other with insane comments of just blatant advertising.
    Which leaves facebook - personally I love facebook and use it to net work with my clients, I have attracted new customers got event bookings and marketed my workshops with lots of success. It is also perfect for keeping track of the competition and prospective clients, you can check out where all the movers and shakers in your industry are going and doing - its fabulous

  4. says

    I think Beate makes some really good points here. I have a Photography page on Facebook but consider it as an adjunct to my other marketing efforts, not the sole generator of new or repeat business. I would like to share with you something that happened to me about a month ago in way of consideration and perhaps warning to other photographers who use Facebook. I was cold-contacted by a representative from asocial networking marketing firm based in Portland. The rep was tried to interest me in allowing their firm to handle a Facebook marketing campaign to the tune of $800 a month. For this they promised 3 different campaigns that would hit a target audience but which could, according to the rep, "be like to hand out 750,000 business cards in
    one month." Sounded too good to be true to me and also I wondered how in the world I would handle that kind of volume. (Mine is a small boutique portrait studio which is just the way I like it.)
    I told him I would like to do a little research first before committing to anything. During our conversation, he happned to mention the name of another photographer in a neighboring state whom I understood him to say was currently using this marketing campaign. So I found the guy on-line and rang him up. He was gracious enough to phone me back and left me a message with nothing good to say about the company that had contacted me. (I wasn't able to reach him for details.) Then I also spoke with a social networking media consultant in L.A. (I can recommend her if anyone is interested). I told her what was being offered to me, what I was currently doing in terms of my own marketing efforts. She said that although she felt that social media is an important aspect to leverage in just about everyone's business, she didn't believe that what this company was offering was worth the price, especially in light of my other efforts

  5. says

    Thanks Beate for the article. You have made some good points here. Although I do have a Photography Facebook page, I consider it an adjunct to my other marketing efforts, not a sole means for attracting new clients or keeping old ones.
    I thought I'd just weigh in with something that happened to me a couple months ago in way of FYI. I was cold-contacted by a representative from a social media marketing firm based in Portland. The rep tried to interest me in allowing his firm to design and launch a marketing campaign for Facebook users to the tune of $800 a month. He said for that amount, the company would design 3 separate campaigns, targeted at whatever audience I wanted but potentially "could reach as many as 750,000 people in one month". (I was staggered. Mine is a small, boutique portrait studio which is just the way I like it. Can't imagine how I'd handle that many clients!)
    He was very convincing but the more I talked with him, in separate conversations that started to cut into my client-time, the more "hard-sell" he became. I finally told him that I was not going to commit to anything until I had done some more research as to how and whether or not this effort would benefit my studio.
    During one of our conversations, he happened to mention the name of another photographer, in a neighboring state, and eluded to him as having used their company for a social media campaign. So I looked up the guy and rang him up. He was gracious enough to phone me back and left a message saying that he nothing good to say about that company and that he did not use their services, as was implied.
    Then I talked with a social media consultant in L.A. (whom I am more than happy to recommend). She said that although she believes social media is an important aspect to leverage in just about everyone's business, she did not think, in my case, that what the rep was offering, for the amount, was worth it. She also doubted whether or not they could actually deliver what they were promising or reach the very local audience which comprise my clientele.
    I also learned, from my son who's much more savvy about Facebook than I am, that he or I could do much of what the company was offering for ourselves. Yes, it would mean a time investment for me but I felt I would be more in control.
    Needless to say, the rep was extremely disappointed, almost to the point of being rude when I informed him that I would not be using their services. I had, in fact, to hang up on him just to get off the phone.
    I have started to do some outreach of my own on my Photography Facebook page. To be sure, it's not attracting the 750,000 he promised, but I've not yet taken out an ad to extent that reach. And it is time-consuming. However, I would agree that those making most of the money from the social media marketing are more likely than not the marketing firms itself, such as the one that contact me.
    I would be interested to hear if anyone else has other experiences with this, pro or con, and how effective they feel it has been for them.

  6. says

    I would submit, that if you think Facebook sucks as a marketing tool, you simply don't understand what it's for.

    You don't use Facebook for "campaigns," and there are no success stories. Because Facebook is not a a form of media like newspapers, magazines, billboards, or the Yellow Pages. Rather, it is a method of communications optimized for maintaining and existing relationships, and then leveraging those relationships to attract new clients.

    Used intelligently, Facebook regularly reminds your existing clients of how much they like your work. They'll stop by frequently to see what projects you've been working on, who you've been working with, what new ideas you are bringing to the table. A certain percentage of those people will be thrilled with what you are doing and they will remark about your work to their friends, some of whom will investigate you (probably on Facebook) and ultimately become new clients.

    This requires time and energy, which some photographers really resent. But the flip side is it requires no cash investment. So if you think about the cash you spend on other marketing efforts, and the time it takes you to earn that cash, Facebook suddenly looks pretty good.

    Facebook will never be a simple machine where you can put money in one end, and clients come out the other. Rather, it's a tool that extends your reach as someone who is already good at building and maintaining long-term client relationships.

    So why is it essential? Because some of your clients -- and probably more and more of them as time goes on -- prefer to keep in touch via Facebook. Fail to have a credible presence there, and you risk losing those clients to another photographer who understands Facebook. Similarly, some of your clients are indifferent or even have an active dislike of Facebook. So any attempts to reach them via Facebook will fail. This means that for the forseeable future, Facebook doesn't really replace anything -- it's necessary for one segment of your clientelle, and useless for another segment. Oh well.

    All in all, I consider Facebook absolutely essential to my studio's success.