eeb541a359e07c917fdbffd10aba26dd_400x400I recently spent the afternoon with Dr. Karen Freberg, professor of social media at the University of Louisville.  Unlike most educators in this space who teach “social media” basics according to an outdated curriculum approved 3 years ago, she has a capstone structure.  Working professionals come in to teach current practice, imparting real-world, relevant skills.

Take something like Facebook advertising.  You could learn how Power Editor works, how to build Custom Audiences, or even become proficient in the various APIs.  As a studious learner, maybe you could even learn how to build a Facebook app and drive installs.

But if you did it in a sterile environment, you would not have had the opportunity to learn how to optimize a campaign, ensure a brand message translates into a content strategy, negotiate with stakeholders on appropriate goals at points in the funnel, and fool around with the myriad tools and organizational processes within any typical company.

Your Facebook advertising expertise makes you a fish out of water.

And Karen noted how submitting courses for accreditation is a 2-to-3-year approval process. So any tactical curriculum is bound to be outdated. Social media has expanded into general business, and technology functions that the term “social media” is meaningless.

Look at IoT, the crowd economy, wearables, messaging apps, and AI.  Now there is no social media strategy — just a marketing strategy that has social aspects.

So there is no such thing as a Facebook strategy anymore.

I ranked #2 on Google for “Facebook advertising” back in 2008 or so, right behind Facebook itself. And the questions I got were mainly mechanical, since the “vultures on the scene” first were affiliates and brands that wanted to show they were innovative, regardless of actual performance.

Today, the inquiries we get are far more sophisticated.  Nobody can get a proper response from us without defining their goals, content, and targeting in advance.  It’s not that we don’t want to be helpful or are trying to sell consulting deals.  It’s just that there is no magic Facebook tactic that can make up for a lack in GCT (goals, content, targeting) inputs.


This site is called FBPPC, with the aim of providing the best expertise in Facebook ads. So it faces the same issue that companies that used to peddle SEO dropped SEO from their name.

Dr. Freberg and I talked about what the new discipline might be called.  You’ve heard of content marketing, inbound marketing, and related terms.  But it’s actually broader than that, since there are two-way aspects with the customer lifecycle.  Growth hacking is hot right now, because it has a whiff of being “secret,” technical and almost illegally good. Yet, it’s not about gimmicks.  Strategic marketing seems to be the best general fit, but it doesn’t sound sexy.

Educators don’t want to tie their curriculum to terms that are fads, so we have a delicate balance.  If you’re reading this blog to get the latest Facebook ads expertise, I’d ask you to comment below to let us know what types of issues you’re facing and what you’d really like to hear more about.

And I’d like to understand how you fit Facebook advertising into what you do.  What’s your process? Are doing something similar to GCT?


  1. ChrisM April 22nd, 2015

    Exactly. The key to Facebook marketing is to take the time to build relationships with your customer target base.

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  2. AJ Wilcox April 22nd, 2015

    I still think it’s valuable to call FB Ads some variant of ‘paid social’ or ‘audience-based targeting.’ I agree that the classification social media has lost its sexiness, and the field is WAY too broad for any one person to know one piece, and call himself a social pro.

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Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities. He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at, his blog, or on Facebook.