Friday, June 14, 2013

I Attended "Becoming Savvy Facebook Marketer" Event

The Song Remains the Same

So – I took Facebook up on their offer to attend a session on growing a business and "becoming a savvy Facebook marketer."  I arrived on a beautiful, blue-sky morning to Fess Parker’s Doubletree Hotel, across the street from the beach here in Santa Barbara.  The line of attendees for this exclusive, invitation-only event was long, but moved along quickly – a palpable buzz in the air (both from the interested folks eager to grow their businesses and the bumblebees pollinating the blooms along the walk. 

With laptops, notebooks, and tablets in hand we found our seats in the ballroom and began networking – face to face at a social media event!  I was privileged to sit with folks from San Luis Obispo, Camarillo, and all points in between.  We represented the central coast. 

The Facebook team, clad in matching t-shirts and having provided fresh deli sandwiches, were enthusiastic and professional.  Our local U.S. Congressional representative, Lois Capps, personally welcomed the crowd (and more tax dollars for our district!), in a way that felt sincere.

The formal presentation kicked off at noon on the big screen – covering three main points:
                     Finding New Customers
                     Driving more in-store traffic
                     Building customer loyalty
As I sat there listening to the presentation, I realized that this was simply a new twist on an old, tried and true model.  Not so long ago, I sold television advertising time.  I flashed back to a presentation put on by my colleagues and I to roughly the same demographic – business owners, bank managers, shopkeepers – except that we were selling 30 second television spots rather than pay-per-clicks.

One woman at my table groused that there had been very little solid “advice” about growing a business or building customer loyalty.  It struck me that she didn’t understand what had just happened.  Facebook was selling Facebook to those of us in the room. 

I’m not saying it was a waste of time – it was a beautiful day in a beautiful place, we met new people, we got a “free” lunch, and we learned something about Facebook’s advertising strategies.  But ultimately, we deceive ourselves if we really believe that Facebook has provided these lovely sandwiches so we can have more fulfilling lives or more profitable businesses.  Facebook was selling itself to us. 

What’s the take-away here?  A few things are worth noting. 

    Just because social media is the new big thing (and can be very powerful), it’s still one more channel to reach your future and existing customers and clients – media may change, but the song remains the same
    Remember that Facebook wants to make money, as do you.
    Facebook apparently didn’t trust the hotel catering, as the sandwiches were brought in from an outside deli!

All in all – it was nice to think about Facebook and advertising, to meet locals trying their best to make it in this economy, and to have a great sandwich at the beach.

Until next time – go well, be well, stay well!
Keith – Proven Strategies

Keywords:  Marketing Concepts, Brand Marketing, Target Marketing, Communications, Social Media, Facebook, Santa Barbara, Advertising

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