Very complicated question. Let's remove the ethics issues and the slimeball management.
Let's get down to Marketing. I don't hate Facebook for Marketing. I am a realist when it comes to using Facebook to Marketing.
1] View Facebook like Yahoo. A giant display ad network. As I noted here on Spin Sucks, Facebook sells display ads. That is their business. And as you will see further in this post that is what you should be viewing Facebook as if you want to reach a lot of people. Buy Facebook Ads.
2] Brands Pages are great for insight but be careful! I find feedback, ideas, and getting to know some customers including handling customer service issues is really what these pages are about. But just because someone comes to your page doesn't mean they are your demographic as I prove here.
But you can still garner a lot of info from that small percentage. What they like or don't like. Ideas for improving service and products. Ideas for new products and services. In the past this cost a lot of money with surveys and focus groups. Now you have customers offering this info for free.
3] There will be 150 mil US Consumers visiting Facebook this month. 27-35mil will be active on the site today. While you can't reach many without Facebook Ads they are there. Just remember most of their time will not be spent on Facebook.
But this does not mean don't have a presence. Quite the opposite you should include Facebook in your Integrated Marketing Plan. But use that presence with a goal in mind,
So as you can see with the right perspective you can use Facebook and use it well. Just beware of trusting anyone's advice if they:
- Wrote a book about Facebook
- Are Facebook Marketers, work for Facebook Agencies like Vitrue or Likeable, or make Apps for Facebook because they want you to use Facebook vs what is best for you.
- Anything you read on Mashable. Fanboy sites tend to be Fanboys.