Facebook has become a traditional ad seller and has failed in the concept of social marketing, according to research from Forrester.
The new report claims that Facebook has not revolutionised marketing, despite claims by its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and has instead “quietly become almost entirely reliant upon the traditional advertising models it once lampooned.”
The report stated: “Everyone who clicks the like button on a brand’s Facebook page volunteers to receive that brand’s messages – but on average, Facebook only shows each brand’s posts to 16 per cent of its fans.
“And while Facebook upgrades its paid advertising tools and offerings monthly or more, it’s done little in the past 18 months to improve its unloved branded page format or the tools that marketers use to manage and measure those pages.”
It added: “Apparently, Facebook no longer disagrees with the ‘push’ model of mass media advertising that Zuckerberg disparaged.”
The report found that fewer than 15 per cent of Facebook ads leveraged social data to reach more relevant audiences, while its static-image ad units offered marketers less impact per impression than marketers would achieve with the ad units other sites offer.
A survey of 395 executives from the US, UK and Canada revealed that Facebook was voted bottom of a poll of business value gained from 13 online marketing sites and tactics. When asked about the best social sites to partner with, marketers voted Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo ahead of Facebook, although the social network did come ahead of Twitter and MSN.
The report went on to warn that Facebook would become “MySpace circa late 2000s” if big brands began walking away from the service.
“We predict that the user experience will become so poor – especially in the ‘right hand rail’ of the site’s home page – that Facebook will abandon its marketplace ads entirely,” the report concluded.
“It will instead focus on further improving the ads it delivers into its news feed and on building an ad network or exchange where direct marketers can run high volumes of low-budget ads without degrading Facebook’s own user experience.”
Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter are most likely to be benefit from marketing spend if Facebook fails to deliver a better service, the report claimed.