An Open Letter to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg After His Lame ‘Thank You for Being an Advertiser’ Pop-Up
Dear Mark Zuckerberg,
As I opened my Facebook Business page yesterday morning I got a big surprise … a pop-up message from none other than you, thanking me for being one of Facebook's 2 million advertisers. (See the image below.)
To me and other marketers who are talking about this (via social, of course), it's a major — and deeply impersonal — fail.
So Mark, if you'll indulge me, here's why I was so angered and frustrated by your message.
The truth is, I don't want to be one of your 2 million advertisers. I want to reach my hard-won Facebook likes (which I call communities) for free without having to "boost" every post.
I know that Facebook is a public company and needs to provide shareholder value and return on investment (I'm a stockholder, BTW). However, shareholder value at the expense of the your own clients doesn't cut it for most of us.
Think about this Mr. Zuckerberg: I spent a lot of time and money on Facebook to build my audience. For years I put your company's URL and logo on ALL of my marketing materials, from direct mail to my website. While you may not see it this way, I actually helped build Facebook. I certainly drove a ton of traffic its way, for which I didn't charge you, did I?
As a marketer, I've put my best efforts into building not just likes, but deeply engaged communities on Facebook. And when you changed Facebook to a "pay for play" business, I had to pay to build my fan base, and then pay again to get my posts out (i.e., boosted) to the same fans, I accepted it for a while.
But now I have to ask you this: Why the double whammy, Mark? Facebook isn't the IRS, is it? Why do I have to be taxed to build my community, then taxed again to send my community the content they clearly signed up to receive? In other words, why do I have to pay to reach my own fans?
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.