This time last year, we decided to part ways with Facebook. Some of you might have thought we were crazy - a digital marketing team that doesn’t use Facebook?! How will you get results?
A year on, we share our experience without the social media giant. Is a boycott something your business should look at doing? And now that we’ve tried it out, would we take Facebook back?
Why we did it
First, let’s look at why we did it in the first place.
There are countless reasons why Facebook isn’t the nicest place to be anymore. Yet people still stay because they’re trapped in the Meta web - even if you choose to use Instagram alone, you still need to have a Facebook account to run ads on Instagram.
And then there’s the algorithm change. Everyone always mentions the ‘algorithm’ with a knowing look and a slow nod of the head, but does anyone really know how it works?
Alex, our CEO and Founder says, “Facebook's algorithms weren’t created to filter out what was false or inflammatory. Instead, they were designed to get people sharing and engaged with content so they’d stay on the site for longer. People tend to share and engage with content that outrages or excites them.”
This means that the more likely a Facebook post is to violate Facebook’s ‘community standards’, the more user engagement it receives. Which of course, leads to hate speech and misinformation spreading like a virus (don’t worry, we’ll get to COVID-19 in a minute).
Due to this insane algorithm, small businesses have been struggling to reach their audiences and cut through the cesspool of hate, keyboard warrior-ing, and blatant lies. We don’t care for that.
You might have seen a few recent documentaries (ahem, ‘The Social Dilemma,’) which also bring to light privacy concerns about the way in which Facebook is using our data.
If you hadn’t heard, in the 2010s, the personal data of almost 90 million Facebook users was collected without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, to be used for political advertising in the campaigns of both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. And that’s just the most well-known data privacy breach…
Has anything changed?
With so much of Facebook’s dirty laundry being aired, have they actually cleaned up their act in the past year? Would we take them back?
The short answer is no.
With COVID-19, the lies and misinformation have absolutely skyrocketed, feeding a frenzied algorithm and leaving many angry and afraid.
Granted, Facebook did attempt to reduce the spread of misinformation by adding a link to official COVID-19 information on any posts that were talking about the topic, but this was a bit of a straw blanket on a dumpster fire.
Many posts were able to disseminate whopping lies without receiving this addition, and there were other posts that weren’t in any way related to COVID-19, yet were still slapped with the disclaimer. Of course, if you actually wanted to report any content you saw, your complaint seemed to just disappear into the Metaverse without a trace.
Speaking of the Metaverse, this is another big change that Facebook has undergone in the last year or so. Even just mentioning it gives us the creeps. If something as simple as a social networking website can have so many flaws and be left so worryingly unregulated, imagine what an entire alternate universe would be like? (More on the Metaverse in our upcoming blogs - we have a LOT to say about this…).
Facebook’s still out. But what are the alternatives?
For businesses who are afraid that Facebook might be their only option, never fear. We’ve been doing just fine without them. We’re enjoying helping businesses grow and staying far, far away from all of that drama. We’ve been working with:
Yes, we know this one is still owned by Facebook/Meta, but it’s an entirely different platform in its own right. It’s full of visually appealing creative and engaging video content that definitely gets eyes on your brand.
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of this one by now. With over 1 billion users, this platform is really catching on, and despite what you may think, it’s not just for the kids. Because the platform hasn’t gone all ‘Facebook’, the algorithm still allows for an extremely high level of organic reach.
This one is a great alternative, particularly if you’re in the B2B game. It’s the best place to establish your brand as a thought and industry leader, and you can bet the conversations there are much more genuine than a certain big blue brand.
If you’re looking to cut ties with Facebook but you need some help around how to make it work well for your business, come and chat to us – we’ve been there, done that, and are still here to tell the tale.
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