Guy Kawasaki: Facebook’s not a charity – don’t expect to get your brand message out for free

Guy KawasakiMarketers who invested in building Facebook followings for their brands only to find they no longer reach many people unless they pay for the privilege have been told they should learn to live with it.

The comments came from one of the world’s most followed social media experts Guy Kawasaki during a video hangout with Mumbrella.

Kawasaki, who has recently become the chief evangelist of Australian-headquartered online design tool Canva was asked by Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes whether brands should feel tricked for having put so much effort into building pages.

Kawasaki said: “Facebook is not a charity. You’re not going to get that much organic traffic, so now Facebook’s business model is if you want your 100 Facebook followers to see it, you pay. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You pay Facebook, you get promoted and 100 people see it.

“The real question is, not ‘oh my god I’ve been tricked’, the way to get a lot of people to see my Facebook post if I’m a brand is to pay for the promotion. If you pay for the promotion and you do your math, than it was worth paying for, or it was not. If it was, hallelujah, and if it wasn’t, don’t pay. It’s that simple. It’s no different to any other advertising medium.”

Kawasaki also spoke out against the social media outrage when it emerged this week that Facebook had been conducting psychological experiments on its users by trying to change their moods by manipulating their feeds.

Kawasaki said: “I’m not the kind of guy who goes crazy about that kind of stuff.

“I figure they’ve organised this party, they let me come into the party for free, and I’m using the party happily, if they want to derive some information, hallelujah, I don’t have a problem with that. That’s their right.  If I don’t like what they’re doing, I’ll leave the party.”

Kawasaki, who has more than 6m followers on Google Plus, more than a million on Twitter and more than 800,000 on LinkedIn, said his large following comes down to giving value to followers. He said: “I’m constantly providing curated stories, stories that I believe people would not have found or would have found with much more trouble or much later.

“I work really hard at it, I don’t consider it something that I do when everything else is done. Every minute of the day I’m trying to earn the right to promote something later on.”

Kawasaki will be giving a keynote presentation at the National Innovation Centre tonight.

In previous roles Kawasaki has held similar posts with technology giants such as Apple and Google and been an advisor to a string of digital startups.

Miranda Ward


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