Direct Line Blog

Facebook's malaise

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Recent good news on the Twitter front has marketers all atw—er, all abuzz about its potential as a marketing tool. This all comes as Facebook blowback gains steam, exemplified by this New York magazine article.

At the core of the New York feature is whether or not Facebook can be trusted. When we here at DMNews talk to direct marketers, "trust" is a word we hear a lot—it's important to foster that sense among prospects that marketing is not here to hurt you or invade your privacy.

So, what does this all mean for Facebook? One ZDNet article posits that Facebook may be "unsafe" for business. (A Yahoo Sports report shows that it's unsafe for NFL prospects as well—if they have something to hide.)

I personally find Facebook the most user-friendly of all the social networks. Its profiles aren't as cluttered as MySpace, it doesn't require as much attendance as Twitter. But the concerns about how good it is for business are real. In fact, we just ran, in Gloves Off, a debate on what marketers should expect from the network—an amorphous concept that is not quite there. What do you expect to gain from Facebook? What can Twitter provide that Facebook can't? What would be the ideal social network for marketers? These questions will be answered as social media marketing becomes more popular and fleshed-out, for sure—but still remain crucial when examining ROI.
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