Before You Get All Excited About Facebook …

I’m very optimistic about Facebook and have placed a ton of emphasis and focus on my new Paul Colligan page over there. But, … we need to face(book) some facts.

Fan Page Updates are almost meaningless. Internet marketers love to act like these are as good as email so I decided to put things to the test. After three different tries, with three different messages, the numbers were almost exactly the same. I am 30 times more likely to get a click from an email than I am a Facebook Fan Page Update. Oh, and I might ad that where my email list is several years old, my Facebook list is less than 6 months old. Yuck.

Facebook Video is now the #3 video site on the planet – but that doesn’t mean they’re consuming your content at Facebook. Now, I’ve only experimented and test this with audio but, … Internet Marketing This Week audience members are 7 to 1 more likely to consume the show on the obscure Internet Marketing This Week iPhone App than they are Facebook with a simple click to play button for every episode (and remember, stats are that they’re more likely to hear that we have a new episode on Facebook than in most places). BTW, iPhone app to Zune is 5.5 to 1 more likely (for the Zune) and iTunes to Facebook is … 621.5 to 1 more likely (for iTunes). Yes, there is certainly that simple fact that a download on Zune or iTunes doesn’t mean a listen where a stream usually does – but the numbers are still pretty strong.

Positioning yourself in Facebook is not as easy as it may seem. A weekly Facebook user might have 5 pages of updates to catch up on and if you’re anywhere but page 1, the chance of them catching up with you (especially interacting) are pretty thin. The only way to deal with this effectively is to repeat the same message over and over again, which of course, loses fans on a regular basis. As a result, you can only really effectively use Facebook to remind people that you are around and still exist. Disagree? – leave your comments below …

The Facebook Fan Page content is indexed by Google bit is, although true, hardly as effective as a Blog entry also indexed by the gMachine. I recently developed a bit of a feeding frenzy at my site on a particular topic and rank well in Google for the keywords – but the actually entry (if they click) through appears on a long page of links and content, about 3/4ths of the way down the page. The idea that someone will find what they’re looking for at your Fan Page via Google Search is a long shot a best. The idea that someone might stumble across you page is there, but you better have an effective strategy of bringing them into your fold. If someone comes into the middle of your Fan Page – do they know the benefits of becoming a fan?

Finally, the “Fan Pages Don’t Require A Facebook Account” is both blessing and curse. If they can get the content on your Fan Page without doing anything, why are they going to click to fan you? If they’re not a Facebook user (there are a few left out there), why would they sign up for an account just to get your stuff? I’m already extremely selective about what pages I fan in Facebook as my social stream is already too cluttered as it is. The stuff I don’t fan, I don’t see.

I know we’re all supposed to love the Facebook to death – and I do – but it ain’t the same thing as we’ve had before. Make sure your strategy for this thing is more than a Fan Page – on account of everyone else having one.

Not too long ago, that’s why we were on MySpace …

Thoughts / comments? Leave them below …

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