So, it’s been a while since my last post, and as usual, it has taken something exceptional to prompt this one. In this post, I am going to look at an attempt at Facebook marketing that did almost everything wrong and try and explain why.
Arguably, social media marketing is losing traction with regards to ROI. Saturation is the real issue here. Even paid advertising offerings from the likes of Facebook tend not to give the return that they used to. If you make a mistake, the cost can be high.
Not only financially in the form of the wasted marketing budget, but also in the damage it can do to a brand image. So, without further preamble, let’s take a look at this rather interesting example of Facebook marketing done wrong.
The Original Facebook Marketing Post
OK, take a look at the screenshot below, this was the original post. It was posted to a public group, with commenting left switched on. Take a look at it, and then I will explain why I believe posting this was a massive mistake from a marketing perspective.
OK, now, what’s wrong with this post? Well, I have to roll out a vastly overused (and usually incorrectly) term. Value proposition. Now let’s take a look at what value actually is.
Value = price + quality + utility + functionality + service.
Any successful marketing campaign needs to be based on showing how your offering fulfils this algorithm in a positive way. The value proposition.
What’s Wrong With This Facebook Marketing Post?
What’s being offered? And does it give a good result with regard to the value calculation? This post is promoting a specific dish in a restaurant in Cambodia. Beef Lok Lak. This is the fish and chips, burger and fries, or pizza of Cambodia. The most common dish seen on every menu in every restaurant. From street food to fine dining establishments, everywhere that sells Cambodian food sells this dish. Nothing special at all.
I could possibly sanction this dish being the target of a Facebook marketing post if it was presented in a truly exceptional way. However, Google up “beef lok lak” pictures and you will clearly see this is a pretty basic offering, nothing special at all in terms of preparation or presentation.
Moving on to the price, $5.50 is really rather expensive for such a simple, staple dish, prepared in a lacklustre way. If this were a fine dining restaurant, of course, the price could be justified. It isn’t though, it’s a low to mid-priced eatery. The price of $5.50 is in my opinion, around $1.5 too high.
So, let’s look at the value calculation so far:
- Price is a negative – as it is overpriced for the market.
- Quality is a negative – as there is nothing special or exceptional about the offering.
- Utility – is a positive, the free drink is a good thing. However, does the free drink warrant the heavy overpricing? Is it really free if you are paying over the top to start with?
- Functionality – I will say neutral here, it is obviously going to fill you up and it will probably taste OK. No negative, but no positive either.
- Service – at this point, we can’t say either way. And if the post had just stopped here, service would have remained a neutral. More on this below.
So, if we use +1 for positive and -1 for negative, the value calculation is now at -1. Is this a good value proposition? Of course not.
Compounding Mistakes With This Facebook Marketing Post
As I mentioned previously, this was posted in a public Facebook group, and comments were left enabled. So, what do you think happened next? I’ll show you:
The very first comment on this post is questioning the value proposition. Ideally, when you leave comments enabled, you want people to respond to the post in a positive way. Great deal! Look’s great! I must try this! But in this case, attention has immediately been drawn to the fact that the dish is greatly overpriced.
At this stage, my advice to the restaurant would have been to delete the post immediately. Anyone can see that this is going to turn into a long string of comments arguing over the price. The original marketing message (as weak as it is) will be completely lost.
The restaurant didn’t delete the post though, it made another serious mistake, with this:
The second comment, was once again, criticizing the price. No surprise here. The mistake the restaurant made though, was allowing one of the staff to post a reply to this criticism. Not just any reply, a rude and insulting one. The member of staff is telling the comment poster that if he doesn’t like the price, he can go and eat street food in the market.
Now, seeing as the “service” part of our value equation is primarily driven by the staff, it is now implied that the staff are rude and uncaring. Another -1 to our value proposition, leaving it at -2.
When Facebook Marketing Goes Wrong
I’ll put my hand up here and say right away, that my very basic representation of the value equation, using +1 and -1 is oversimplified. When we judge value, we use a much wider scale. However, I believe keeping things simple has been an effective way of highlighting all of the mistakes made by this Facebook marketing post.
The restaurant obviously hoped to generate interest and appeal with this post. Unfortunately, it entirely failed to craft a marketing message that had an attractive value proposition.
The problem was compounded by not switching comments off, and not deleting the post once it became apparent things were heading south. The situation was further exacerbated by allowing a rude and confrontational staff member to post a reply to a comment on the post.
It is vitally important that every marketing message you plan to push via social networking sites offers something not simply of value, but of exceptional value. Giving a much higher probability of comments or feedback being positive.
Furthermore, you need to manage the campaign properly. Simply dumping a post and hoping everything works out fine can have catastrophic consequences. Be ready to delete the post if needed and be sure to moderate each and every comment. If needed, turn comments off.
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