Facebook Kisses Google A$$, Hiring for SEM
2007: Facebook is at the forefront of user generated content, viral marketing, socially-empowered brand awareness building yet non-invasive forms of online advertising. Its model is so powerful that Microsoft saw fit to buy a chunk of it in order to lock up Facebook's supremely bodacious ad inventory, thus establishing a $15B valuation for this Palo Alto startup and inflating PA real estate almost as much as their youthful founders' egos.
2008: Facebook is hiring an Internet Marketing Associate, but don't let the vague title fool you: Facebook wants someone with paid search experience to help them draw potential advertisers to their site via, you guessed it, that soooooo Web 1.0 advertising format known as paid search.
Like so many companies purporting to have game-changing business models - comparison shopping engines, vertical portals, alternative search engines, web 2.0 startups, dating sites, you name it - the proof of who's still king is their customer acquisition strategies, which as far as I can tell require, to this day, funneling massive amounts of $$$ to Google AdWords.
Will social media conferences ever have a session titled "Paid Search: How We Make Ends Meet?", or "PPC: Buying Traffic When Times Are Tough", or perhaps "SEM, Because No One Likes Our Inventory"?
I doubt it, but Facebook realizing in 2008 that they don't have sufficient advertiser traction is the tea leaf smart social networking types would do well to consider.