Can Mark Zuckerberg read Russian texts

Russian Roulette with Mark Zuckerberg

lateral thinking by Marcella Ranft, Public Relations / 02/05/2021

Facebook and Instagram have become important tools for museums to communicate with visitors. But dealing with digital channels has to be learned, takes time and creativity - and in the end it remains a technical game of chance.

Raising human resources for the regular maintenance of social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram is one thing. Pressing the right buttons there so that the published articles are displayed in a clearly visible manner and your own network even perceives them is another. If you have been able to overcome these hurdles, you can actually sit back and work through your content plan in a relaxed manner - that's how you think. But experience has shown that this is where the real trouble with Facebook begins, because the devil is in the technology.

Man versus machine

Who knows: The link to the new blog post is added to Facebook, the corresponding header image is displayed in the post preview, everything seems good and you press "publish" in anticipation. If you make the mistake now without leaving the page without further checking, you will often experience a nasty surprise later: The text contribution is there, but instead of the blog image you will only find an ugly preview in text form. Of course, you quickly get the idea that Facebook prefers it when the content is published directly on the platform. However, it is annoying for a museum if you have to pay again for another use of a picture - provided that the rights of the author are represented by VG Bild-Kunst.

Who now thinks that is bad: That was nothing! Okay, we now understand that the company Facebook doesn't like referring to external sites and prefers to see the content uploaded on its own site. But if it is not possible to upload an exhibition trailer for several days for unknown technical reasons and the museum has valuable application time running through its fingers, it can be annoying. Several hours of chat sessions with the Facebook support team brought friendly words, but not the desired solution. Fortunately, the technical problem resolved itself at some point, so the trailer could be uploaded to Facebook and advertised.

Going on: There is the setting in Facebook Business Manager that posts published there that are advertised are also displayed as an advertisement to users on Instagram. “Great,” thinks the saver, “kill two birds with one stone!” But if you click on “Show more” on the Facebook posts displayed on Instagram, an error message is opened instead of the post.

And one last example, because I'm so busy right now: In fact, the colleague who looks after Facebook was not able to advertise the posts she published on our site for a long time. The ominous reason given by Facebook was that, for unknown reasons, her account no longer looked reputable and her right to apply for life had been withdrawn - and this judgment could no longer be reversed. In the end, conversations with the support team that lasted for hours could not solve the problem, so the colleague had to set up another profile on Facebook in order to be able to continue doing her work in full.

Not all gold that glitters

Now the readership may wonder what I'm trying to achieve with my grumbling. On the one hand, it's good to just let off steam. On the other hand, I would also like to signal that we digitally visible museums are all in the same boat - and the captain is Mark Zuckerberg!

Facebook, founded by Zuckerberg in 2004, has become an integral part of our digital world. The channel started as a network to stay in touch with the circle of friends. The tool quickly recognized its usefulness as an advertising platform and today Facebook is a huge marketing battleship. In 2010, Facebook still had advertising revenue of around 1.9 million US dollars, while the platform earned around 69.66 billion US dollars from advertising alone in 2019 (source: © Statista 2020). With 23 million daily users, Facebook is by no means “dead” today, as it is often claimed, but continues to lead the social media channels as the most popular digital platform ahead of Instagram with 9 million daily users (source: © 2020).

But even if these numbers read promisingly, not all that glitters is gold.

Dear Mark…

The many hours of work that my frustrated colleagues and I have spent playing Russian Roulette with Mark Zuckerberg and hoping that technical problems will be resolved promptly lead me to the dark premonition that the company is resting on its monopoly position and itself hidden behind his support team.

Facebook: We appreciate you, yes, we really do and we are grateful that you exist and that we can keep in touch with our guests through you, especially in times of the corona pandemic, in which we have to keep museums closed. But please, please work on your technical support so that we business customers can perceive you as a reliable service provider again, who also offers us a reliable service for our money. And by then there might be colleagues from other museums with similar problems who would like to start a self-help group with me 😉