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Brands still aren’t making Facebook work for them, Forrester Research has claimed, highlighting the social network’s lack of priority towards them as part of the cause.

Forrester claims the majority of marketers don’t understand how to make Facebook work for them in terms of delivering ROI, despite 96 of the top 100 brands in the US having a presence on the site, which is used by almost 800m people.

In a report published today, the firm claims that Facebook has made content management on the platform difficult for companies, changes the rules without warning and only offers limited data.

Forrester also lays significant blame on marketers themselves, pointing out four key failings:

  • Facebook pages lack focus because they are often set up without clear objectives.
  • Marketers don’t understand key aspects of the Facebook platform, such as its Edgerank algorithm that determines whether content is shown on news feeds or as paid ads.
  • Brands haven’t got the right resources in terms of in-house staffing.
  • They seek the wrong measurement, by considering Facebook in isolation to their business and wider marketing or customer activity.

Nate Elliott, VP principal analyst at Forrester and author of the report, said, “Marketers are all over the shop because they didn’t know why they decided to use Facebook in the first place. They rushed to be there without understanding what they are doing there.”

Forrester has offered a set of recommendations to brands as a guide to start to derive value from the social network:

  • Set clear objectives. For example, driving people down the sales funnel or increasing loyalty, which will determine how you measure ROI.
  • Drive value for fans by learning who they are and what they want, and then utilising data to optimise content plans.
  • Use and understand the full Facebook toolkit, including paid ads and apps.
  • Integrate Facebook into your marketing mix.

The report follows research from the firm in September that revealed spend on social media was negligent compared to the interest it receives from marketers and the amount of consumers using it (nma.co.uk 19 September 2011).

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Published 30 November, 2011 by NMA Staff

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