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Can Entrepreneurs #DeleteFacebook?

Hot on the heels of the public outcry to #DeleteFacebook, entrepreneurs need to get creative with their social media marketing campaigns and clear on their advertising ethos.

 

Let’s explore…

  • What in the heck happened last week with Facebook, and why is Bill Murray as Steve Bannon stuck in my head?
  • Should artists and creativepreneurs stay on Facebook after this security issue?
  • Is our beloved Instagram at risk as a Facebook-owned company?

So did you hear the one about Facebook, Steve Bannon, and the personality quiz your friend took?

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the whole Cambridge Analytica “data breach-that-is-totally-not-a-data-breach”.

Cambridge Analytica is a political consulting firm with ties to the Trump campaign via its former Vice President, Steve Bannon.

50 million Facebook users (and counting) have had their data harvested and sold using a third-party personality quiz app, thisismydigitallife.  A loophole in Facebook’s API allowed data from the quiz taker’s Facebook friends to be collected as well.

The Guardian has a fantastic graphic that illustrates what in the heck happened.  You can view it by clicking here.

This, coupled with the abrupt departure of Facebook’s chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, definitely gives one pause as a Facebook user and small business owner.

If you have taken out Facebook advertising with your Facebook Business Page, this one is for you.

 

Facebook advertisers, big and small, must now examine their marketing strategy and plan of action for their social media.

Elon Musk just yanked his SpaceX and Tesla business pages off of Facebook, and Mozilla admitted to “taking a break” from its Facebook advertising and biz page postings.

While Facebook has apparently reached out to “thousands of [advertisers] and the response has been incredibly positive and supportive”, some advertisers are publicly pushing pause while they await increased security measures and to see how badly this decline in trust will affect the social media giant.

At this current juncture, anyone utilizing their Facebook for business purposes should be examining the implications of this most recent controversy, and exploring their interpretation and reaction to these events.

Whether one is a Fortune 500 company or a kitchen business, there is definitely common ground in making executive decisions around our company values, individual ethics, and taking our customers’ concerns into consideration as we grow our business.  How and where we spend our advertising dollars is another crucial response in the #DeleteFacebook aftermath.

 

As you may have noticed before this craziness, Facebook is continually shaking up how and where your business content is seen in Newsfeeds.

For Facebook Business Pages, this often means that unless you’ve launched a paid advertising campaign or have significant brand recognition, your promotional content is not likely to get much play.  The most recent algorithm tweak came in January of this year when Facebook announced that Newsfeeds would contain “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media and more posts from their friends and family”.

Artists, creative professionals, and small businesses have long felt the effects of decreasing visibility on Facebook, especially if they did not have a physical storefront to attach to their Facebook Business Page or rely on submitted reviews, Facebook’s take on Yelp for a hot minute.

I’ve seen a significant jump in Instagram use within my own industry, and many of the creatives that I have consulted with have turned their attention beyond Facebook to grow their audience.

But as a Facebook-owned platform, is our beloved Instagram now at risk of comparable security issues, and of being littered with even more paid posts as advertisers move on?

Only time will tell.

Now what?

Build a permission-based e-mail marketing campaign.  If you are considering hitting pause on Face book or just want to reaffirm your commitment to security and privacy with your fan base, reiterate your stance on protecting their information and ask if you can send them news/specials/announcements via e-mail.

Explore other digital marketing opportunities.  Your advertising dollars are hard-earned entrepreneurial dollars.  If you feel like your last paid Facebook advertising campaign was the offline equivalent of burning a wad of hundreds in a small firepit, it’s time to explore other online advertising options that are more aligned with your audience and budget:

  • Niche-specific blogs  
  • Print magazines
  • Promotional exchanges
  • Niche-specific events

Take the temperature within your own network.  You can search the hashtag #DeleteFacebook on Facebook and see who in your network and potentially your fanbase will be exiting stage left, or waiting to see what happens next.

Remember Twitter?  That’s still a thing.  So is Pinterest.  And Stumbledupon.  These are all social networking platforms that are not currently caught up in the Facebook brouhaha, and have competitive and effective advertising tools for small business owners.

Do what’s right for you!  At the end of the day, you need to be personally and professionally comfortable on the channel that you engage on.  If your Facebook Newsfeed bums you out, or you feel like you put more work into your Facebook Business Page than you do actually generating web traffic or sales, tap the brakes and reassess.

 

TL;DR:  It is crucial to build creative marketing campaigns that build your brand with authenticity and authority, online and off, and to not put all of your advertising eggs into one social media basket. 

FURTHER READING

Cambridge Analytica – Wikipedia

Was Your Facebook Data Actually ‘Breached’? Depends On Who You Ask – Time.com, 3/22/18

The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Explained With a Simple Diagram – Vox.com, 3/23/18

Psychometrics: How Facebook Data Helped Trump Find His Voters – Inquirer.net, 3/21/18

Mozilla, Tesla, Other Businesses Take a Facebook Pause – San Francisco Chronicle, 3/25/18

Facebook Exit Hints at Dissent on Handling of Russian Trolls – New York Times, 3/19/18

Facebook’s Carolyn Everson Goes On The Defensive – Ad Age, 3/23/18

Firms Start To Pull Facebook Ads Following Data Scandal – CNBC, 3/22/18

Instagram Pips Parent Facebook In Some Ways, But Will The Data Breach Scandal Affect It? – Economic Times, 3/25/18

 

 

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