Is Facebook the answer?

Look at every major brand these days, and even smaller brands you’ve never heard of, and more often than not, they’re not asking consumers to go to their homepage, they’re asking consumers to go to their company’s Facebook profile page.

When this is a unique or relatively unique strategy this may be a good thing, but when it’s a proxy for a registration of interest, or free membership, is it as beneficial as many companies and marketers think, hope and plan?

Facebook, and the potential to get in-front of a lot of consumers and their friends, in a social way is definitely appealing. And some companies have harnessed the power of Facebook very effectively – Harvard Business Review, for example I’m sure has more fans than dedicated readers, which no doubt they believe is a good thing, and indeed it may well be. But, if everyone is using Facebook, rather than taking the time and effort to build their own discussion forums, interactive experiences on their own online properties, then are the fans or ‘likers’ really that valid from a database, broadcasting and interaction perspective?

Is having a large group of fans on Facebook really indicative of a richer, more validated consumer database, which in many cases will still need to be converted to a subscriber, buyer, consumer, trier etc or is a new fan little more than a passing thought for many people? Coupled with that, how can one validate or qualify a Facebook fan when any one of the 500 million people using Facebook can like your product with just one click?

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