Facebook: Opportunity For Earned Media Still As Rich As A Year Ago

From left, speakers from Nestle, 360i, Twitter & Facebook discuss social media

From left, speakers from Nestle, 360i, Twitter & Facebook discuss social media

Facebook keeps coming under fire that it’s harder for brands to get the free exposure — “earned media” — that they once got. But Facebook says it’s not so — it more a matter of adjusting how you measure your earned success.

“The opportunity for earned media is still as rich as it was a year ago,” said Patrick Harris, ‎director of global agency development for Facebook, on a panel today at the 4A’s Transformation conference.

On the panel with him were also:

  • Joel Lunenfeld, VP Global Strategy, Twitter
  • Penry Price, VP, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn
  • Sarah Hofstetter, CEO, 360i
  • Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital & Social Media, Nestle (Moderator)

Harris explained that Facebook is being more selective in what it shows to individuals, especially in the face of their just being so much more content shared on the service. That’s certainly made it more competitive to gain exposure.

However, he also emphasized that brands have better metrics for measuring their earned success on Facebook.

“If you rewind a year ago, the primary asset value was you counted fans and likes,” he said. Today, there are means to measure if people are engaging and converting, to tell if Facebook fans are turning into real business outcomes.

In short, even if visibility might be less, that’s being made up for in other ways, he seemed to be saying.

360i: Brands Should Be Ready For Good & Bad

In other discussion, 360i’s Hofstetter — whose agency was behind the now famous Oreo Super Bowl tweet — stressing that agencies working for brands need to be ready for both positive and negative things that happen on social media.

“When you hire an agency to represent your brand, they have to be able to handle the good and the bad,” she said.

Twitter: People Expect Brands To Speak

Meanwhile, Twitter Lunenfeld highlighted that millions of people are tweeting about what to eat on Twitter each day, one example of many for brands to get in on a conversation. He also said the old advertising exercise of “what would your brand say” has now become a reality where people literally expect brands to talk via social media — and answer if spoken to.

“So invest in people who can speak for your brand,” he said.

Below, more from the panel in our live blog:

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook: News Feed | Live Blogging

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About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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