Planning on quitting Facebook? If you haven’t already, it’s likely that you’ve been thinking about it, or at least changed the way that you’re interacting with the platform.
Over half of Facebook users, ages 18 and older have altered the way that they’re using the site in recent years. Privacy risks, political divisions and growing concerns about social media’s effect on emotional health are all playing a part in changing how we interact with the social media giant.
Until now, going cold turkey from Facebook hasn’t been easy. Two years ago, one study found that the average user would have to be paid $1,000 to $2,000 to be pried away for a year.
But privacy breaches and hate speech are hard to ignore. Concerns with just how unethical Facebook is has made stepping away the right choice for many. Last year, a number of companies around the world participated in a month-long boycott. This year, Socialike stepped away for good.
And if ethical concerns aren’t enough, there’s plenty of reasons why you shouldn't rely on Facebook and social media. Here’s five reasons why you should consider stepping away from Facebook and social media:
Social Media Platforms have outages
On March 13, 2019, Facebook and Instagram experienced their worst outage ever. Business owners and marketers experienced the shock of what happens when the only way of reaching their audience disappears into thin air.
For a painful 48 hours, there was no way to run Facebook or Instagram ads, make posts to your pages, or make sales from your Facebook store. That’s a long time to lose touch with your audience.
If you’re going to rely on social media for your entire marketing strategy it’s kind of like putting all your eggs in one basket - which can end in a world of pain if something were to crash.
You don’t own the platform
Remember, social media platforms are businesses of their own right and you’re required to play by their rules.
No matter how big your following is or how much money you’ve spent on the platform, you do not own it, nor do you have any control of what happens on it.
We’ve seen examples where companies have had to rethink their branding simply because Facebook didn’t like their logo. That might seem like a small thing initially, but when you think about how many places you pop a company logo, isn’t a small thing.
Organic reach is decreasing
For those that don’t know, organic reach is simply the number of people who will see your post “naturally” without any advertising dollars behind it.
If you’re in marketing, you’ll be very aware that the organic reach on most platforms isn’t that great. For Facebook, it’s around 5.20%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content - not much if you've been putting in the hard yard to build up a following!
Boosting your ad budget is the easiest way to get more eyes on what you’re posting.
For big businesses, this is a no-brainer. However, for smaller companies and startups this can present more of a challenge as they have a limited budget.
Even if you do pay for more eyes on your posts, they might not actually buy from you. People see multiple ads a day and can get pretty immune to acting on them. Instead, investing in ways to connect more directly with your customers might work better for you if your goal is to boost sales.
Algorithms can change
When it comes to social media marketing, algorithms are king. Algorithms are a set of rules that controls your content’s organic reach.
As a general rule, organic reach on media platforms declines as the platform becomes more popular, because your posts have more fierce competition against other posts. Tiktok has been making headlines for how easily it is to create organic reach on the platform. This is largely due to the algorithm it uses.
However, algorithms can change. When Instagram was a younger platform, several years ago, you would get more organic reach and engagement on average per post. Now, changes to the algorithm have made marketing on the platform a much more complex task.
It’s the same with Facebook. In January 2018, Facebook announced the biggest change yet. Moving forward, the social media giant plans to prioritize statuses from individual users over posts from businesses - not good news if you’re a business owner.
This poses a problem for small businesses. A social media strategy that brings a flood of likes and comments one month might bring crickets the next. Even if your business’ social media accounts have high engagement now, that doesn’t mean they will forever.
Your page can be unpublished for no reason and you may not even know it’s happened until it’s too late
We see this far too often! In fact, it’s happened to customers that we’ve been working with. Particularly, with Facebook, it’s very common for your page to become unpublished without knowing why, or getting much of a warning.
Usually, the page quality doesn’t show any violations, meaning we need to launch a support ticket to get to the bottom of what’s actually gone on. It’s stressful for any business, especially if they’re relying on the page for the bulk of their marketing.
Why does it happen? Again, algorithms are at play. Facebook has a history and a bit of a reputation for its account policy algorithm to do stuff just like this all the time.
What else can I do instead of using social media to market my business?
Relying only on social media marketing as your business marketing strategy is putting all your eggs in one basket. You’re left relying on playing by the platform's rules and algorithms which often don’t even give you the cut-through that you want for your marketing efforts. So, what’s a marketer to do? We often have this discussion with clients and recommend that they do both of the following:
Don’t go all-in on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest alone without having a solid backup plan.
Think about how else you would market your business online if you didn’t have social media. Could you do a sponsored post for your local news outlet? Paid advertising on a different website that your customers often use? It will depend on your business but have a plan.
Build an email list
Email lists are worth their weight in gold when it comes to marketing as they give you a direct line of unfiltered communication between you and your audience.
You own your email list. You don’t own your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram followers and fans. You can switch marketing platforms whenever you choose and take your email list with you. But you cannot take your social media following from one platform to the next.
Have a website
Facebook, Instagram, or any type of social media should never be a replacement for having an actual website. Not only does a website protect you if one of the platforms crashes or changes its algorithms and policy but it also helps boost your credibility and improve people’s ability to find you on google. A website is in your control and should be the hub of your online marketing where you direct people to, from social media. Having a website makes it easy to sell goods online or collect sales leads from interested visitors.
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