Beware The Attack Of The Killer Facebook Marketing Ninja Rockstar Gurus

By January 24, 2014July 1st, 2015Social Marketing
Beware The Attack Of The Killer Facebook Marketing Ninja Rockstar Gurus

Facebook. Blah blah blah.

Text links. Blah blah blah.

Link share posts. Blah blah blah.

Please, please, please shut up already.

I’m not so much tired of Facebook as I am of Facebook marketers.

Almost every blog post I’ve read this week has been a “social media expert” rambling on about the new changes at Facebook and “what this means for your business.” You want to know what the changes at Facebook really mean for your business?

Nothing. Zero point zero. Zilch.

Facebook isn’t a social platform. It’s not built to help businesses engage. It’s built to sell ads. There’s nothing wrong with that and I think Facebook can have tremendous value. But I take exception to a recurring theme and that’s the fact that marketers seem more interested in regurgitating what Facebook wants them to say without consideration for helping customers decide whether Facebook is right for their businesses.

Marketers in general have shown their hand by constantly recommending whatever Facebook pushes out of its PR machine. At this point businesses should be skeptical of what marketers are saying about Facebook and ask whether it makes good business sense, or if they are simply repeating the Facebook-sanctioned conventional wisdom.

Use pictures.

Use video.

Use text.

Don’t use pictures.

Use pictures, but not with text.

Buy ads.

Isn’t it funny that most social marketers pitch exactly what Facebook wants pitched? Whatever happened to doing what was in the best interests of the client instead of what Facebook sanctions?

When the timeline feature came out, marketers practically repeated Facebook’s press releases line for line. Build content. Upload pictures. Tell your story.

Now that the less scrupulous marketing consultants who worship at the altar of Mother Facebook have settled down and gotten all of their customers hooked, Facebook has done an about face and said, “Hey, all that reach you worked so hard for… yeah, we’re going to throttle it unless you pay. Suck it.”

Based on past trends, it seems to me that the status quo from here on out will be that Facebook will periodically make a slight adjustment to its algorithm and pump it through the PR machine to all manner of social “experts” who will take to their blogs like pit bulls on raw meat. If that’s the case, that could do wonders for the stock price of a publicly traded company.

But why so skeptical, Ralph?

Because I don’t care about Facebook more than I care about my clients. I want to act on the needs of my clients, not force my clients to react to the needs of Facebook. Maybe the fact that my clients can only reach 5 people on Facebook’s tricked out platform just isn’t that important anymore regardless of how cool-super-awesome link share posts are. There are well known and not so well known marketers out there falling over themselves trying to get businesses to believe that whatever limitations are imposed by Mother Facebook are good for them.

Their behavior is despicable.

If you are a business and a marketer approaches you with the Facebook company line, ask them how that helps your business and then listen – really listen – to the answer. If the answer sounds more like, “Well, this is how Facebook works,” rather than, “This is what’s best for your business,” then show them the door. You’ll be happier – and more profitable –  in the long run.

So What Should A Business Do?

Be skeptical. Facebook isn’t on your side any more than any other organization. That doesn’t mean you should part ways, but use the tool intelligently and to your best interest. I hear a lot of marketers conceding that “you just have to buy ads now.” That may be true, but not all of the time. Don’t spend your businesses’ money just because you’re resigned to building Mother Facebook’s empire.

Diversify. My friend Mike Brooks of Nuclear Chowder Marketing showed me a video of a “marketer” telling an audience that they should have a Facebook page and not a website. Interestingly, that person’s company only worked on Facebook business pages. Your business should have a toe in every platform out there. You should watch, measure and see what works and what doesn’t. That makes deciding where to spend money really easy. If you need more convincing, you can read my thoughts on using Facebook instead of a website.

Hire marketing professionals, not social media ninjas. Businesses don’t need social media. They need marketing. Social media may or may not be a component of that. Most social media experts-ninjas-gurus-rockstars know a lot about a platform or two, but don’t have the experience to have a broader vision of how all of your business needs tie together. That’s important. I can’t stress that enough.

Learn. The days of closing your eyes and playing the “I don’t know card” are over. I’m not suggesting that you should be a seasoned expert, but you should be conversational in aspects of your marketing so that you can make smart decisions. Many marketers often sell services that have a high profit margin for them, but low results for you. That $9.95 a month widget they are pushing on you may sound great, but does it really give you value? If you are going to pay someone, make them earn it.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me where I am wrong and where I am right.

Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • Scott_McKelvey says:

    I totally agree and have nothing to add but one of my favorite Tweets of all time, courtesy of Talent Zoo CEO Rick Myers: “Saying you are a bad-ass rockstar ninja on your resume really says you are a scaredy-cat yodeling thumb-wrestler.”

  • May I buy you a drink? Offer you a danish?

    THANK GOODNESS someone (You) is keeping a level head about all the recent onslaught of Facebook crap, as well as lending truly professional and knowledgeable advice. Yes, I use the platform … very LOOSELY.

    Some days I question why I bother to share outstanding work like yours, Ralph, full well knowing maybe … just maybe … 2.2 people will see it. 🙁

    And as far as those suggesting using Facebook instead of a website …
    Are they nuts??!! You’re right. They’re most likely people who design FB cover photos or some other money-making endeavor related to the platform. If Facebook fills their pocketbook, no wonder they promote such nonsense.

  • I had to laugh when I read this because I confess that in the beginning I was one of the ones who was drinking the Facebook Kool Aid. I got really excited about setting up my Facebook page and was looking into some of those ninja-marketers ideas, but common sense prevailed and I, thankfully have steered away from that. I do think Facebook has its place, but I prefer to use it as a place to exchange ideas (Facebook groups) over using it as a marketing tool.

  • Thank you Ralph for saying what many marketers are afraid to say. Facebook is a business and even they have begun to admit that organic results are going to continue to be more and more throttled in the future. After about three posts on link share we stopped reading. You are 100% correct on bloggers copying facebook’s PR blurbs and drinking the kool aid. (Maybe a reflection of the current state of content marketing?) As for a Facebook page as a replacement for a website that is ridiculous for so many reasons. Please post or tweet us the link to the “facebook expert” selling the idea that a facebook page is an adequate replacement for a website.

  • Sadly, this is too true. I am so glad that you pointed out. I have to admit, I got caught up in it for minute and then I thought “what the hell”? I am sooo tired of ALLLLL the guru’s. I decided a while ago to stick to the few that I already believe in…a few new ones creep in, but I had to reduce the overwhelm. I appreciate your honest approach and excellent advice. You rocked it!

  • Cathy Miller says:

    What resonated with me the most, Ralph, is your advice to see what works and what doesn’t. And that doesn’t necessarily mean social media – or Facebook. *Gasp* My use of Facebook for my business is minimal. If I listen to the “experts”, my strategy is akin to corporate suicide. And I jumped up and down at your advice. Hire marketing professionals, not social media ninjas. Hallelujah! 🙂

    • Marketing existed for decades without Facebook. Think about MySpace. In the past, some said that the emerging zeitgeist would be ( marketing + MySpace ) and anything else would be failure. I think that Facebook will have a much longer shelf life than MySpace, but it will not become ubiquitous with marketing.

  • Mike Brooks says:

    I still say don’t give up on Facebook. Until they lose a significant amount of their user base and Google stops using them for search ranking, I still believe it is important to be there. But I stress that your own experimentation and metrics should rule the day. Over the last 30 days, 85% of my traffic to my blog came from Facebook (combination of my profile, page and others on Facebook). But if you take a long hard look at those metrics something else shows up that is far more important than the platform. The biggest factor by far is people. People share content when the content is strong. Metrics don’t lie.

  • Adrienne says:

    You are SO right Ralph that many of these marketers don’t have your best interests at heart. All they’re really trying to do is what’s best for them. We all know that these businesses are going to do whatever they can to make the most money they can and that includes Facebook.

    I’m going to hang onto my Fan Page only because it’s part of my brand and I still have interaction on it because I do daily things there and my fans are looking for it because I’m a consistent little thing. As long as they’re interacting I’ll keep it up and decide later which direction is best for me.

    Great share Ralph and I love how you and Carol just tell it like is.

    ~Adrienne

  • Laura Click says:

    Whether we’re talking Facebook or some other marketing tactic, it’s ALWAYS about finding the approach that works best for your business. For some, it absolutely makes sense to invest in Facebook advertising. For others, not so much.

    For instance, I was meeting with a friend last week and he told me that Facebook has always driven a huge amount of traffic and sales for them, but that has now plummeted. For that business, it makes a TON of sense to invest in promoted posts to get their reach back and continue to drive sales for their classes.

    I think one thing I would add to your list is to test out different approaches. As the landscape continues to shift, you won’t know if a tactic will work until you try it. So, that might mean investing in ads, focusing on building your email lists or trying a different social media platform. But, it all comes back to focusing on your business and what makes sense for your audience.