Today’s guest post is by Amy McCloskey Tobin.
Facebook was my first great social media love.
I resisted at first, but once I jumped in back in 2009, I was head over heels.
Other networks turned my head periodically, but Facebook claimed my time and my business heart.
I used it to build up one of my own small businesses – at one point 50 percent of our leads were coming from our own small, but highly engaged page.
I even began to do the unthinkable – I neglected my own website – sometimes for months.
But then Geoff Livingston smacked me in the face on my blog last week. He said, “I think Facebook is toast if they don’t redirect in six months, seriously. Welcome to the big blue dwindle.”
Geoff has written about his own changed relationship with Facebook recently, and I have heard the death knell scenario foretold a zillion times by other marketers whom I respected, but this was the first time I took it seriously.
My repeated comeback in the past has always been, “The only way Facebook will die is by suicide.”
But I Thought You Loved Me?
I think the sickly mixture of Promoted and Sponsored posts may be the sound of Facebook pulling that very trigger. I know Mark Cuban is a hothead, but when he went off on his rant about having to pay to reach the followers his page had worked so hard to accumulate, I totally and wholeheartedly understood his rage.
Any business page with a decent following worked hard to grow that page and they all built it thinking they’d be able to reach that audience. The only way they wouldn’t is if the audience found their message undesirable. With the requirement that they now pay to reach all of their own followers, Facebook pulled the rug out from under all of them.
I know, I know, Facebook does not owe us a damn thing; this post by Copyblogger makes that abundantly clear. We don’t pay a dime to use its services.
However, we in turn owe Facebook nothing either. It’s time to fall out of love with Facebook.
I Think it’s Time We See Other People
I am not advocating you leave Facebook. The one billion people in the world you might want to reach out to aren’t going anywhere suddenly. But I am advocating you do what Mark Cuban suggests, and make it a much, much less important part of your marketing arsenal.
If you’ve been building your social media strategy correctly, this won’t be quite a scary as it sounds. If, indeed, you’ve been using Facebook as a funnel, or one of the many octopus arms in your inbound marketing, you’ll be okay. That would mean your website is fresh and relevant, and contains relevant and attractive content.
Because Facebook isn’t the easy, free way of reaching out to your audience it once was. And I don’t see that open line of communication ever coming back.