Opinion: I don't like brands

Mike O'Rourke
By Mike O'Rourke | 17 April 2014
Mike O'Rourke

I don’t really ‘like’ brands on Facebook. In fact the only time I have liked a brand on Facebook is when I’m working on a current or prospective client’s brand. Even then I have trouble committing to a like because for me it’s such a public display.

I may well be a conservative user, but I think there are a lot like me. A brand really needs to resonate with who I am before I would ever consider sharing it with all my ‘extended’ friends.

My teenage son is the polar opposite. He likes as many brands as he has Facebook friends. But we do share one thing in common – the brands we like are all well-known.

So when a prospective client recently asked 'why should I pay for an expensive ad campaign when I just got 2,000 likes on my Facebook page in the last few months?', they suggested, 'a well-managed Facebook profile has brand building capabilities far superior to traditional advertising'.

Unfortunately, this client has a brand awareness problem, and we pointed out that perhaps they had achieved a quick sales promotional ‘like spike’ and were connecting with their existing customers.

But it raises the question; what if they had shifted their traditional ad spend and plunged it all into Facebook content instead? Would they have achieved the same or better brand awareness than traditional advertising?

The fact is there’s a lot to cut through on Facebook. Over 1 million businesses advertise with more than 26 million ‘maintaining’ a corporate Facebook page. In terms of users, roughly 9 million Australians check their page daily and see up to 1,500 potentially new stories every time they log in.

So, yes you can build a brand on Facebook but it’s not the cheap alternative. It’s likely that you would need to spend the same amount of money on creating amazing content as you have done on media in order to achieve the same results.

This client, like so many, sees Facebook as a free media channel – a way to save money. But you still need to spend the money to make it work.

If your content is good enough even I will like it.

Mike O'Rourke
Creative partner

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