Is Facebook Bad For Your Business?
“Unfortunately, the golden age of promoting your brand on Facebook has now passed, especially if you’re a small business owner.”
Why would a business with 38,000 fans kill their Facebook page? In the words of Copyblogger, “their presence on Facebook has not been beneficial for the brand or its audience.”
It seems unlikely, when Facebook boasts over a billion monthly active users and is essentially the king of social networks, with the best potential for acquiring a large audience.
But is Facebook good for all businesses and brands?
Here’s what Copyblogger has to say about that:
Facebook Fan Numbers Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be
“While it is easy and free to set up a Facebook Page for your business, this is not enough if you want to make the most of the platform. You need to actively promote your page if you want to gain exposure to a new audience, and this is where it gets difficult.”Source: Clickx
Copyblogger discovered that while they had a lot of fans, a fair amount of them were junk fans, “accounts with little to no personal status update activity that just go around “Liking” Facebook pages. They’re essentially accounts tied to “click farms”—ones paid pennies for every Facebook page they Like.”
These fans were useless to their brand because fake fans damage the visibility of posts in Facebook’s algorithms.
Give Some Serious Thought to Social Media Strategies
“Facebook places heavy emphasis on user feedback when developing their algorithms, interface and apps. This means that change is always just around the corner, which is not a stable basis on which to build a social media strategy.”
Not every social media channel is an ideal fit for every brand.
Copyblogger found more value connecting with their community through Twitter and Google+. Because Copyblogger’s main focus is serving its audience, they wanted to pour their energy into areas where they noticed stronger audience engagement…and statistics showed them that Facebook was not that place.
In fact, Copyblogger’s Google+ community statistics were well beyond those of their Facebook results, so they decided to focus on those outlets, as well as the Copyblogger membership communities.
Brands Need to Determine Where to Invest their Time & Efforts
“It has become increasingly difficult to reach that audience through the [Facebook] platform and even if you do manage it, getting them to engage is a whole other struggle. If you gain any customers or visitors to your site as a result of Facebook, chances are you will wonder if the time, money and effort were worth it in the end.”
Copyblogger feels that “a brand’s first responsibility is to know what’s useful to its audience.”
While a brand might love Facebook for a wide variety of reasons, it means absolutely nothing if their audiences don’t interact with them on Facebook.
As far as Copyblogger is concerned, “It’s not our job to tell our audience where we live. It’s to grow communities where they live”.
Focus on Community Preferences
“Let’s face it: Facebook is no longer the kingpin that it once was. While it remains the biggest social network in terms of monthly active users, figures are steadily declining. In fact, in 2014, Facebook was the only one of the eight biggest social networks to see a drop in active users. Tumblr and Pinterest saw 95% and 97% increases, respectively.”
Leaving Facebook will give Copyblogger the time and resources to focus on the places where their audiences love interacting with them. Their readers told them where they preferred to engage with the Copyblogger community, and they listened.
If you’re a small business, or your frustrated with your brand’s Facebook presence, you may want to consider the following social networks which, says Clickx, are relatively low-maintenance and have user friendly methods for advertising:
- Twitter: As home to a lot of companies and brands, people feel that it’s a reliable place to turn for the most recent updates. Paid advertising is based on a simple concept: put money behind a tweet and tailor your audience. You’ll only pay for the engagements you actually get.
- LinkedIn: Often viewed as sort of an online resume, this platform is useful for connecting with audiences in a professional capacity. It’s a good platform if you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field. LinkedIn also features ads and sponsored updates.
- Google+: While this network often gets a bad rep, it has a well-built presence that can boost search engine results and drive visitors to your website.
- Tumblr and Pinterest: These platforms are experiencing massive growth, though they’re not used as so much for advertising. Instead, Tumblr and Pinterest are generally used for the purpose of visually showcasing your business to an established audience.
“While Facebook still seems like an impressive potential audience waiting for your business, the time, money and effort required will not see a worthwhile return.”
According to Clickx, “Facebook favors big brands that are able to give grand displays which draw in hundreds of thousands of likes.” But even the big brands’ golden Facebook days may be numbered in the face of changing algorithms and dropping figures.
While social media remains an essential part of online strategy for small businesses, they really need to make sure they’re focusing their efforts in areas that produce maximum ROI, suggests Clickx. Unfortunately, Facebook is probably not the best platform for this when compared with other social networks.
Also published on Medium.