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Facebook’s Huge Performance Problem

ClickZ – During the first few years of Facebook’s existence there was one part of the advertising community that immediately adopted its advertising platform as a key part of their campaigns: the affiliate and performance marketing industry. Facebook was written up in every affiliate blog and every journal about performance marketing as the savior of the industry. As marketers learned to use Facebook effectively, Facebook revenue skyrocketed, and based on that income Facebook was able to grow into the monster it is today. At one point Facebook had an entire team dedicated to affiliates, with their own account managers and way to contact Facebook.

Sometime in early 2010, however, Facebook changed its strategy. Its affiliate team was dismissed and performance marketing campaigns were slowly phased out. Facebook even got rid of its ROI tracking, now only secretly providing it to a few select agencies. Somehow Facebook had decided that supporting the performance marketing community that had helped build it was no longer important.

The reason Facebook started to do this was simple: it wanted brands to think that it was a great branding mechanism, and its team believes that providing support to performance marketers means that it isn’t really a good branding mechanism. For those who wanted to engage in performance marketing, a plethora of third-party companies have popped up providing all sorts of optimization and other functions through Facebook’s API. If you are a small business, affiliate marketer, or frankly even a performance marketing agency, you are dead in the water in trying to get support.

Facebook is making a huge mistake in not paying attention to the performance marketing industry, period. Here are a few recommendations I have:

  1. Facebook needs to provide customer support for everyone. Google still supports all size marketers. While Google doesn’t necessarily love affiliate campaigns, it provides support for all size businesses. Google’s learned that small businesses sometimes become big businesses and since it provides a suite of services for businesses, it wants to make everyone happy. Facebook needs to learn from Google’s plan and provide everyone with support even if they are seen “only” as affiliates.
  2. Facebook needs to integrate its sales team with its quality review team. If you are fortunate enough to have a contact within Facebook, it often does little good. As it stands now, Facebook sales people have absolutely no idea why their clients are having issues getting products approved on Facebook. The advice that the sales team gives clients sometimes has no basis in reality of how the quality review team acts.
  3. Listen to clients. Facebook has a serious issue thinking that it rules the world because it’s the biggest name in the game right now. If we’ve learned anything about the Internet, it’s that companies’ fortunes can change overnight. Remember MySpace? Facebook is trying so hard to have its own way of doing business that it’s ignoring pretty much anyone else’s opinions on how to run its revenue generation.
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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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11 Comments

  1. great post, persoally i think that facebook has made a mistake by not paying attention to the performance marketing industry, still we cant have it always

  2. Now I know why does our face-book keeps on changing its strategies.we all know that this social media site can be use in anything fun, games specially online marketing.

  3. Well, I think your opinion of facebook on performance marketing may be right. But comparing it with Google is not really good enough. Remember facebook stated not with the mind of marketing. There is that lack of business and marketing foundation in its startup!

    Google on the other hand is a business and is run by business minded persons. They know what marketing is all about. I want to believe that facebook lack these mindset. If only they will grow out of the mindset of social networking and run it as a business indeed, then they will be able to take some lessons from others like google.

  4. privacy policies is always the big one
    i hear about it so often, and nopw many people are finding out your profile can never be deleted, they keep it for quite a while, and facebook is working somewhat close to governments…

    facebook has alot of problems that NEED to be sorted

    james

  5. I agree to you. FB thinks they would dominate the Social Media forever but you know without a good customer service or just merely hearing what it’s users says I doubt that it will stand that long. I think Google Plus is much ahead with the aspect of accommodating all types of business regardless of their size. But for now, let’s see. Anyways, Facebook has it’s sudden changes without prior notice.

  6. I don’t think Facebook is making a “mistake” at all. They want money and they know that they can make more money by working with huge companies with giant budgets rather tahn wasting energy catering to smaller CPA marketers. It’s unfortunate for the “little guys” (like myself) But it’s not like Facebook is going to suffer if small time advertisers abandon it as a marketing platform.

  7. Facebook seems all powerful right now; but, if it continues to ignore its users, that will eventually lead to its downfall. Other applications more amenable and willing to listen will take over and supplant FB.

    Ellie

  8. Facebook has become a dictatorship with nobody to keep them in check. Their attitude is that of a hormone bound teenager out of control with ego and bad attitude.

    If you send them “comments”, they will target you and disapprove all ads. They will then send you a nasty email threatening to deactivate your account.

    This is a great post, thank you.

    I don’t feel so alone with my frustrations.

    Jen

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