Is Facebook Effective for Marketing?

Seventy-nine percent of companies market on Facebook. But the social media site has not delivered on its promise to revolutionize marketing, and in fact “has quietly become reliant on the traditional advertising models it once lampooned,” according to a new report from Forrester Research.

In the report, Forrester vice president and principal analyst Nate Elliott says Facebook no longer supports social marketing, doing little in the past 18 months to improve its branded page format or the tools marketers use to manage and measure those pages.

The result, according to the report, is that Facebook is actually doing more to disconnect than connect brands to their customers — and, worse, has admitted that fewer than 15 percent of Facebook ads leverage social data to reach more relevant audiences.

Marketers are clearly feeling the effects, Forrester says. The firm asked 395 marketers from the U.S., U.K., and Canada how satisfied they were with the business value they get from 13 different online marketing sites and tactics, including Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube marketing. Facebook was last on the list.

When asked how satisfied respondents were with the six largest online and social properties as marketing partners, Facebook again fared poorly, Forrester says. Just 51 percent said they were satisfied with Facebook as a partner, placing it behind Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo.

Despite these findings, "we don't believe Facebook will make the changes needed to win back marketers' hearts,” Elliott said in a statement. “In fact, we don't believe the company even sees the need to change: Its enormous revenues have blinded it to marketers' growing dissatisfaction. But if it doesn't change, the results will be dire."

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