Thursday, April 12, 2012

What appears at the end of TV ads?

Have you noticed that something has changed in television advertising? Many of the same products and services appear as before, but the commercials end differently and we have Mark Zuckerberg to thank.

These days, many TV commercials end with a final call to action to visit a company’s or brand’s Facebook page. While watching television this past week, I saw commercials promote the following companies and/or products, and all ended with a final screen featuring either their customized Facebook URL or the message, “Follow Us on Facebook” with Facebook’s logo: Carl’s Jr., Burlington Coat Factory, Living Spaces, ToysRUs, BirdsEye, PetSmart, Snuggle, Nutrigrain, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, Cats Pride Fresh & Light Litter, and Suburu. In addition, news stations are also adding a small Facebook logo along the bottom of their screens – a local station in Los Angeles recently offered free iPads to lucky viewers who “liked” their page on Facebook, and one lucky viewer won a brand new Mercedes-Benz worth more than $100,000.

But here’s the problem: Do we all want to promote Facebook and the Facebook community?
  • While there are 750-plus million users on Facebook, not all 750-plus million are either fans of a particular (translation, your) brand page or willing to post and interact. Many people in the social media and marketing arena ask, how often does a fan visit your page after the initial “like?” Even more importantly, how many fans actually comment on your page?
  • Facebook’s team has designed its page format and capabilities per its designers’ creativity, and as a result, you don’t have complete control of your page. Changes are at the whim of the Facebook team – just think back to Facebook’s requirement for upgrading to the Timeline format.
  • During Facebook’s growth, other social sites have joined the party. There was Quora, then Google Plus, and the current buzz centers around Pinterest. There is no doubt that other sites will emerge, so the question is, will your business promote these new pages when they become the talk of the town instead of your main site?
  • Due to the progression of social media, a Facebook page has become a necessary part of an overall social media marketing plan, but it should not replace a company’s main website. Your main website reflects your company’s mission, brand, color palette – and you completely control it, no one else does.
  • And what happens after Facebook’s IPO? Think of all the free publicity that Facebook will continue to receive – how many other new publicly-traded companies get so much free publicity?

So WHY do you think companies are promoting their Facebook pages instead of their main sites – and what makes Facebook so much more appealing? Please chime in.


  1. I think the desire to promote Facebook is a result of the the interactivity, continuous exposure in the news feed, and viral nature of Likes. Facebook has more potential continuous contact, whereas a website visit is more transactional.

    I'm seeing a few adds with Twitter handles, too.

    1. Thanks, Karleen, good point about the often transactional nature of a main website.

  2. Debbie,

    You did make a good solid point -- On our own websites we control what happens, we control the outcome. The whims of a social network does not determine the outcome.

    I am a big supporter of the blog being the HQ of social media, and for other networks to the the outposts feeding to the site.

    Facebook does have a community feel and keeps the company top of mind. So, when there is a decision to make, the user goes to that company instead of searching - the game of chance. That, as a business owner should be the goal of Facebook - A popular highway to promote community.

    I don't see how Facebook's IPO is a factor in this discussion, only that I believe it weakens their long-term future.

    What do others have to say?

    1. Yes, Keri, many would agree that Facebook is trying to embody "community." Thanks for your comments.


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