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Marketing want to put our facebook and twitter social feeds in footer in the of every page on our website. Would love some more ammo as to why that is a bad idea. Feels like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

Regarding the social feeds, the main reason to put them there is to reinforce our authority to a mum audience and to indicate we've been around for a long time - and to build brand engagement. The brands you mention don't suffer from the lack of awareness we do, and their audiences are less mumsy. Apple wouldn't push FB because they are not easy bedfellows - and media companies notoriously avoid FB because they are threatened by media spend being sucked away from them. I would hope that once our awareness grows we can afford to lose these feeds and revert to simple 'follow' buttons, but for now I'd like them to be there to encourage interaction with the brand. If we can build more engagement with people on these platforms it makes our marketing dollars go WAY further because FB advertising becomes much cheaper.

//edit

I feel they are distraction from each pages goals, they are ugly, they don't match the website style, they dilute our brand, and adds a massive performance hit to our site.

  • 2
    Can you start by telling us why YOU think it's a bad idea? That provides some context. – tohster Feb 24 '15 at 1:56
  • I feel they are a distraction from each pages goals, they are ugly, they don't match the website style, they dilute our brand, and adds a massive performance hit to our site. Also added above – Trevor Nowak Feb 24 '15 at 2:06
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The bad news:

  • In almost all businesses UX doesn't ultimately control the customer experience (the entire business does), and a huge part of our work is finding ways to create good user experience while also satisfying "internal customers" (management, marketing, etc). In that sense, the "User" in UX includes both your internal and external customers.

The good news:

  • If you're willing to drive some compromise, there are ways to mitigate the problems you see in including social feeds.

  • Here are some problems with social feeds:

    • You lose control over your messaging, and "mums" are notoriously protective of kids...all they have to see is ONE bad or provocative tweet to turn away from the service.
    • They take a lot of effort to groom and maintain. Is your organization committed to doing that? When you are showing real-time social streams, you need to be prepared to respond to customers in real time (flag bad posts, etc).
  • One compromise is to include the feeds, but do so on an experimental and iterative basis rather than make a huge investment. In your wireframe, the feeds take up an entire page worth of space (I understand that users need to scroll down to get there), which is a huge investment in real estate. You are basically allowing the social feed to dominate the entire page and depriving yourself the ability to provide contextual "in-flow" narrative content for the website. That's not a good idea, since you are trying to sell services.

  • What you might try is adding smaller feeds on the page, measuring the audience response, then expanding them if they are successful. Use clear visual boundaries (e.g. add a thin line frame around each feed, or a drop shadow) to show that they are "out of flow" for the page. This will help users understand that they are viewing content that may not necessarily be compatible with what they have just read elsewhere on the web page.

hope that helps

  • + 1 for the 4th good bullet: when in doubt test it ! – PhillipW Feb 24 '15 at 10:25
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Logically, you could demonstrate that the gains in brand-awareness are negligible -- things that do instant-feeds captivate user attention for a whole 3 seconds before people move on to the next thing.

You could also make the case that the quality of your product will shine through -- if you are taking shortcuts for brand-awareness then your gains will similarly reflect this shortcut quality.

There is a great article by Paul Graham recently featured on Hacker News, I think you could find some useful information in it:

http://www.paulgraham.com/ds.html

We encourage every startup to measure their progress by weekly growth rate. If you have 100 users, you need to get 10 more next week to grow 10% a week. And while 110 may not seem much better than 100, if you keep growing at 10% a week you'll be surprised how big the numbers get. After a year you'll have 14,000 users, and after 2 years you'll have 2 million.

Slow and steady wins the race. You'll want quality "conversions" so-to-speak; and it makes more sense to target groups that will actually use your product than those who will simply take a glance and skip gleefully along.

If your counter-arguments are mostly aesthetic you might just want to play with the .css file, but if they are rooted in a confidence in the value of your product then you have a legitimate argument.

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