Forrester claims Facebook is lstillr failing marketers

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It appears Forrester vice president and principal analyst Nate Elliott is gunning for Facebook if the latest research note on the company’s blog is anything to go by, with Elliott claiming the social network is “still failing marketers.”

Elliott’s revised comments come after a scathing open letter published in October where he accused Facebook of not providing a satisfactory platform for marketers. He argued the social network focused too little on genuine engagement, as well as lacking in providing pure advertising.

“Just four months later, the debate seems to be over,” Elliott roars. “Is there any doubt now that Facebook has abandoned social marketing, and that its paid products aren’t delivering results for most marketers?”

So what’s caused Elliott’s ire this time? The Forrester analyst puts it down to three reasons:

  • Marketers only being able to reach 6% of their fans organically. Elliott quotes an Ogilvy paper which claims that for pages with more than 500,000 fans, that number drops to a mere 2%.
  • Brands and agencies openly discontent: Elliott cites an article published February 28 by John McDermott on DigiDay entitled “Facebook is not making friends on Madison Avenue” as evidence here.
  • Marketers are worried their fans are “fake” – typically from emerging markets, and again lacking in engagement

“All these marketers want Facebook to live up to its promise, and to become a valuable marketing channel,” Elliott writes, adding: “They just don’t believe it’ll ever happen.”

These are pretty scathing words to say the least – but are they fair? Brands and companies can certainly point to dwindling organic reach numbers, prompting a ‘pay or play’ situation – but does this leave companies at a disadvantage?

Prelini Chiechi, VP marketing EMEA at BazaarVoice, doesn’t see it as a big issue for smaller businesses.

Speaking to Social Media World Forum before the research note broke, she said of Facebook’s ‘pay or play’ system: “If anything, social has broadened and opened up more opportunities for all players, regardless of size, than ever before.

“It’s allowing brands to be able to work with various retailers, small or large, with consumers ultimately being able to more easily make decisions of who they want to go shop with.”

Facebook didn’t comment when MarketingTech enquired. What’s your opinion?

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