While Facebook has remained front and center for more than 14 years, all good things must come to an end. You can only reign king for so long before someone else swoops in to take your place.
Although there have been many social media outlets to compete against the giant over the last decade, the demise of Facebook will be their own doing.
I know many people will disagree with me, but it is a fact that I have seen coming for several years. My belief is now stronger than ever due to Facebook’s stellar start to 2018.
After the privacy concerns and massive updates, the Facebook apocalypse is unavoidable.
Facebook's Path to Self-DestructionIn early January, Mark Zuckerberg published a lengthy post announcing the intended changes for the social media icon. In short, it discussed a new goal to promote the user experience. These changes were great for the average user, but for marketers and business owners, it led to pure panic.
Makes sense, right?
For the average user, the change was awesome. I know I am happy not seeing posts that I really do not care much about. Unfortunately, for struggling business owners who don’t have large marketing budgets, this can be too much to overcome.
While it may have turned your world upside down, the announcement did not shock me because let’s face it, Facebook has been making it harder for business owners to thrive without having to spend money.
I get it. They want to be profitable, but it is just another blow for small businesses.
In 2015, business pages took a massive hit as Facebook transitioned to their preferred visibility platform. Now, pages with thousands of followers were only having their posts viewed by a fraction of their audience…unless you paid.
When you combine the decreased visibility with Facebook’s latest privacy scandal, that was the nail in the coffin for me.
Not only do you have people fleeing the site in droves, but business owners are scrambling to try to earn a place on news feeds.
As a small business owner, what are you supposed to do? You must be prepared for the transition.
Now is the time to begin relying on other platforms. As the saying goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Spread Your Resources
For most businesses, Facebook has been the leading focus of their attention. While they may market on other sites occasionally, they have not spent the time building their audience on other platforms.
If this sounds familiar, you are in a tight place. As you continue to lose traction on the site, you must establish yourself on other platforms before you get left behind.
Don’t believe me?
I conducted a short experiment to monitor the impressions, engagement rates, and the click-throughs for 3 companies over the past week. I focused on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Company 1 has a very strong Facebook and Instagram presence and does very well on both sites but has no Twitter activity.
Company 2 has a decent Facebook and Instagram following and limited Twitter activity.
Company 3 primarily focuses on Facebook with no Instagram account and very small Twitter activity.
I created a specific social media post daily for each client and posted it on all 3 sites. All organic posts with no paid ads.
Company 2 and 3, who have little to no activity on Twitter or Instagram, had at least double the impressions, engagement, and CTRs than their Facebook posts. They had fewer followers and activity, yet the sites produced far more favorable results.
On the other hand, Company 1 continued to thrive on Facebook while their Instagram took off. Twitter was a lost cause because the account was new. Their results did not surprise me because their Facebook engagement is outstanding, which is exactly what Zuckerberg says that you need to succeed.
If I had done this same experiment 2 or 3 years ago, I assure you that the results would have been far different. Yes, Instagram was still budding, but Facebook was the sweet spot for online marketing.
Clearly, you can still be successful on Facebook, but if you are like most business owners who have a very limited budget and struggle with engagement, it is time to turn to other outlets.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is not going anywhere any time soon, but change is coming.
Don’t Ditch Facebook Yet
To remain relevant, you are going to need to change your game plan.
Become an Influencer
You MUST become an influencer. You cannot just push your products and services. Your customers need to view you as someone that they can trust. This will encourage their buying decisions. With influencer marketing still on the rise, Facebook provides the perfect outlet to become a recognizable face in your niche.
Build a Community
Today, engagements and interactions are key to surviving on Facebook. This involves more than just likes, comments, and shares. You should also build a community to help manage your brand identity. In addition to your brand page, look for other areas to connect with your customers, such as a group.
Use Facebook’s Tools
Among the many changes that Facebook has made over the years includes new tools that allow you to interact with your followers. In fact, they released more than a dozen in 2017 alone. Create live videos, canvas ads, boosted posts, polls, and use every other tool that is available.
Don’t Forget SEO
Although many think SEO only involves your website, this is not true. Facebook collaborates with SEO to help you drive traffic to your website. Incorporate keywords into your posts, use hashtags, and create engaging content to help encourage CTRs.
Where Do You Go from Here?
You need to diversify. You cannot rely on Facebook alone to move your business forward. Not anymore.
The sky may not be falling right now, but you do not want to be stuck in the aftermath if/when it does. You must have a Plan B already in place and grow it consistently.
Don’t lose faith in Facebook yet. They are still on the playing field--even if they are limping. Instead, be smart and stay ahead of the changes. Look for your new secret weapon today.
Are you having trouble recouping your losses after the Facebook updates? Do you need to invest in more social media sites? I can help you create an effective strategy that works. Contact me today to discuss how you can reach your goals.