There’s No Such Thing as Free Marketing

By Posted in - Public Relations & Social Media on November 18th, 2010 0 Comments

I doubt there’s a company or brand in the world right now who hasn’t perked up its ears at the sound of the words “Facebook page.” Facebook fan pages have exploded in popularity as an extension – or even replacement – of the company website. And at no (monetary) cost, it’s easy to see why.

Facebook pages give brands a visual of their most passionate customers and allows more personal interactions. And at virtually no cost, a company can set up a fan page, invite users to “Like” the page and start talking. There’s also a plethora of applications a business can take advantage of on the site that are either free or very cheap.

Just since I started working in January, I’ve seen our clients take advantage of Facebook to communicate with consumers on a new level, and several have just recently started using the site. We could tell you great stories about interactions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We’re even starting to dabble in creating custom tabs with FBML coding. And for the most part, all of this has been free.

But for all of the benefits of using the site, a Facebook page requires no shortage of time and genuine effort to maintain. Kim’s recent post reminds us that a company can’t expect to throw up a Facebook page, blast information at fans and expect to raise sales or consumer sentiment. I’m sure we can all think of more than a few examples where a brand has been blinded by the word “free” and thinks that Facebook offers advertising and PR opportunities at no cost.

In the end, whatever you save in dollars by using Facebook to engage fans should definitely spent in time and dedication. Just like anything else in life, success doesn’t come without work, and there’s just no such thing as free marketing.

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