co Are Facebook Users Worthless? |

A rabble-rousing innovative guru who watches dogs has accused you, the Facebook user, of being worthless. No, not worthless as in a lazy good-for-nothing punk. Rather, he thinks you’re worthless as an advertising investment. His evidence? Superbowl advertisers pay more per watcher than Facebook advertisers pay more per user.

At first glance, Pace Lattin’s logic makes sense. If you go just by the numbers then you might actually be convinced. But I think his attempt to stick a needle in the arm of the interactive marketing industry misses the vein. And blood is spewing all over the carpet.

Here’s the doleful banana: Superbowl viewers and Facebook networkers are not an apples-to-apples comparison. They’re not even apples to oranges.

Interactive Marketing Vs. Advertising On Facebook

First off, television is a one-way medium. Superbowl ads represent the zenith of mass marketing. Facebook is almost the opposite. There’s a reason it is called “interactive marketing”, something you’ll never hear referred to Superbowl ads. So what does that mean, exactly?

Northern Illinois University, which offers a degree in Interactive Marketing, defines it this way:

Interactive Marketing refers to a form of marketing, often facilitated by technology, where we address customers individually, gather and remember their response and address them once more in a way that takes into account that unique response. In this form of marketing, marketing is a conversation, not a one-time transaction. Examples of technologies that facilitate interactive marketing are customer databases, the Internet and search engine marketing.

Facebook, and other social media, are the interactive town halls where these “conversations” take place. It is where marketers go to interact with their customers and potential customers to get a feel for what is expected. If used effectively it can be a powerful market research tool where the data gathered is used to pursue the customer through other channels more apt for marketing. That’s not to say, of course, that marketing can’t take place through Facebook.

Historically, advertisers (as used in the traditional sense) have not done well on Facebook and other social media websites. But that doesn’t mean those being marketed to are “worthless” in terms of advertising dollars. In this case, a perceptive rearrangement is necessary to see the true value of a Facebook user. It isn’t in raw data. On the contrary, the true value of a Facebook user is in their dignity by virtue of being human. It’s in the conversation.