It sometimes seems that marketing advice these days boils down to one word: Facebook. That makes consultant Douglas Karr's advice on MarketingProfs.com stand out when he offers six reasons to approach Facebook marketing with caution:
Forget control, Facebook rules
Every Facebook page is assigned directly to a user, so when your company's page is created it is assigned to an individual who becomes the administrator. If that employee changes jobs or leaves the company, a logistical problem can arise. Or if the page administrator decides to disable his personal Facebook page, your company page also hits the virtual dust. "Adding multiple administrators seems a logical recourse; but if Facebook views page activity as 'suspicious,' it may disable every account associated with it. Moreover, when an account is disabled, all of its pages, fans, content, applications, and ads are lost. And the road to getting the account re-enabled can lead to a bureaucratic black hole: After you submit a form requesting the account be re-enabled, there is no support, timeline, or guarantee that it will be," Mr. Karr warns.
Facebook can change features at the drop of a hat
Facebook also has control over whether to change its layout, application programming interface, or set-up - and you must deal with the aftermath of the change. And, of course, if Facebook goes down, you're down, at least for that part of your marketing.
Facebook allows any user to tag any business, place, or person in a status update. You have no opportunity to review and approve the tag before it goes public. So on Facebook you have no control over the public information that is released by third parties.
Facebook doesn't make money for its people skills
Facebook requires its users, by the terms and conditions they sign, to be customer friendly and make it easy for users to contact them. But Mr. Karr notes Facebook doesn't follow its own advice. There is no phone number to call or public support e-mail address. "Companies spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, and there is no representative to contact regarding their account," he writes.
Facebook owns access to your content
Facebook doesn't own your content. But you can spend a fortune putting content on Facebook and that content can then be used however Facebook staff wants, since its terms page advises: "You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook." If the account is disabled, there is no way to access the information.
Your content isn't protected or saved anywhere
If a glitch or other problem leads to loss of your content by Facebook, that content is deemed to be worth no more than $100 by the social media company's policies.
The fine print can change
The fine print in Facebook's policies, as you can see, is not always favourable to your interests. Beyond that, it can change at any time.
"Facebook has the authority to change its policies, terms of agreement, and codes of conduct for any reason, at any time; and as users, we must succumb to and accept the changes," he stresses.