Don't Blame Facebook For Your Problems
We've got endless examples:
- You're a retail investor. You chased the IPO because you have a Facebook page. Even though you have nobody to blame but yourself, you (and the media) blamed everybody except the person who hit 'BUY' for your losses. Back in May 2012, while predicting long-term success for Facebook stock, I said Do not buy the IPO . That's almost always sound advice. Take it.
- You're Mark Cuban, a wildly successful and otherwise brilliant man , yet you dog Facebook for structuring its advertising like TV and radio. Pay more as the size of the audience you reach increases. Novel idea.
- You're General Motors (GM) . Unlike Ford (F) , you have no clue how to properly use social media to market your company , yet you blame Facebook, exonerating your own ineptness in the process.
You really can't assign blame to Facebook for your problems, no matter what they are. But that's what we tend to do.
In each of the above-mentioned scenarios, blaming Facebook is the easy answer. It allows us to ignore the larger, highly-complex bigger picture issues we need to address, re: IPOs, stalkers, bullying and privacy. Same goes for companies that complain about the "effectiveness" of Facebook advertising.
As Director of Social Media for TheStreet, it continues to become increasingly clear, if you can't make social advertising work, you're the one with the problem, not Facebook, Twitter or one of the other platforms.
Even though it's on a roll -- up 43% since I admonished Barrons for its lame $15 price target -- concerns over Facebook's ability to deliver for advertisers remains a key component of the bear case on the stock. This shouldn't be.
First, we have not compiled enough observations, particularly on mobile, to come to valid conclusions. Facebook has most of the meaningful data that could actually help determine how well its platform serves clients. Nobody else. There's no such thing as an "expert" on social media. It's too new. If somebody tries to tell you they're an "expert," call them a poser. Because that's what they are.
Second, even if data shows Facebook doesn't work, how do we know it's Facebook's fault? Advertising and marketing campaigns fall flat all of the time. It happens on television every day. It will happen to more than a few companies later this month at the Super Bowl. They'll blow millions on an ad that doesn't resonate. Should they blame the platform or have a look in the mirror? Wonder if they could have done better as a creative organization.