WALKING DEAD – the Facebook misconception

26. January 2017

Instagram and influencers are the buzzwords of the hour. Especially lifestyle brands focus on the combination of pictures and hashtags. Although another network declared dead is only about to reach its full potential at present.

Everybody agrees in meetings these days: brands reach their customers on Instagram, no doubt about it. The strategy is therefore clear: conception, tonality, creation, hashtags and an editorial plan are a must now. And it is, of course, a matter of good taste to keep in touch with a (hopefully well selected) circle of influencers. This is also the order of the day with us – be this for regularly fitting them out or for extensive content or product cooperations.

At the same time , however, Instagram’s big brother is neglected by many companies – preferably from the fashion sector.  They still – though reluctantly – update the editorial plan and create those mandatory postings, but what good is a 6-digit number of fans for your web page if its algorithm reduces the organic reach to just a few thousand fans? And what’s even worse – Facebook is no longer sexy. It has a somewhat outdated feel about it. I hear more and more often: “Instagram is much more important for us – at least as long our customers have not discovered Snapchat yet …“


Facebook is only starting to be fun

Needless to say, Instagram and Snapchat are important. But it also true to say: in terms of reach, advertising formats and targeting Facebook is far superior to all other social networks – provided you do not delegate it to a social-media department where it is only used for community management.

To my mind there are two reasons why this is still so:

1. Facebook does not form an integral part of marketing

A major reason why Facebook is not used optimally in many companies yet, is the lack of networking between the Social Media Manager and other departments. “Slotted“ somewhere between PR and Marketing departments several years ago, Social Media Managers were hired for storytelling, replying to customer requests and for communicating in social-media style – but foregoing too much advertising speak. This is recommendable in content terms, but also explains why they had no direct connections with sales most of the time or why they often did not initiate marketing campaigns but were allowed to “enhance” them at best.

What a shame – because Facebook now offers possibilities to even increase footfall in stores in a targeted manner (buzzword: Parent-Child and Shop Promotions). Coordination with e-Commerce usually works better but again we are faced with the question:  To what extent do the editorial content and hard selling follow a guiding concept and are they aligned with each other? Was the content planned jointly and connected by the media plan (Custom Audiences and Retargeting – cross-device with Facebook!)?

If this is already a standard at your company – be happy: you are a big step ahead of many other companies.

2. The separation betwen creation and media planning does not work on Facebook

Even in many agencies strategies are worked out consecutively rather than jointly: first creation, then media planning. But whoever wants to create target-oriented communication must already know in the conceptual phase how their creation is played out and which factors are decisive in targeting. How else are splitting tests to be devised, evaluated and fed back to creation?

Many agencies are used to refer to storytelling but in practice for lack of specific  Facebook know-how, ideas are often not followed on from sequentially or do not prompt the user to conversion.

Although these are precisely the possibilities that make Facebook currently so exciting for business: the combination of editorial content and targeted retail measures. Of course, not on a trial-and-error basis but with a corresponding media plan.

Why (media) agencies – that have this know-how by all means – hardly refer to these possibilities pro-actively would deserve a separate article. Suffice to say: recently Facebook also abolished the last reimbursement for agencies …

André Karkalis is Managing Director at KARKALIS COMMUNICATIONS. Sometimes he writes about topics that move him. Generally, from his armchair in the agency kitchen. This is where his Kitchen Post is created.


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