Big Brands Still Trying to Figure Out the Facebook

Ever wonder what your bank is thinking when it asks you to “like” your credit card on Facebook? Buddy Media’s Michael Lazerow is in the business of persuading brands that Facebook should get top priority when it comes to advertising efforts, and his presentation at the Le Web conference, now available on Facebook, explains why. What would seem to people who spend most of the day on the internet like spammy, ridiculous nonsense, actually looks earnest and smart in the context of a slide deck. One coupon for Pretzel Crisps was redeemed by 95 percent of the brand’s 100,000 fans; a call to “like this post if you’re a Disney Vacation Fan Club member” had a 19.62 percent “engagement rate.” Other examples showed “engagement rates” in the 5 to 6 percent range. 

The question that was the title of Mr. Lazerow’s presentation–“I have a page, now what the fuck should I be doing?”–never gets old. We can easily imagine a room full of graying Mad Men, trying to get their heads around the Facebook, copying down those words and “engagement rates.” As Mr. Lazerow wrote in a recent blog post, “If I were paid $936 for every time someone said in a meeting that brand X or Y didn’t “get” digital or social, I’d be a very rich man.”

But Facebook engagement numbers are music to the ears of marketing execs, as are sentences like “increased engagement means increased visibility, more visibility means more opportunity for engagement,” which Mr. Lazerow calls “the virtuous Facebook cycle.”

Buddy Media, a platform for businesses to control and measure their social media presence, had 175 employees in its New York office back in May; in August after a $54 million cash infusion, it announced plans to hire 200. Now it has offices in San Francisco, Singapore and London and is still hiring. The company also recently announced a partnership with comScore. Big Brands Still Trying to Figure Out the Facebook