Because they (allegedly) allowed a foreign company to steal personal data and thereby (potentially) influence the outcome of an important national election, Facebook is in a bit of a pickle.
The hashtag #deletefacebook has been trending. Of course, I don’t personally think very many people will follow it up with any action, but it does beg the question:
If Facebook were to fall from favor with your audience of potential clients tomorrow, would you have a Plan B?
This isn’t new.
If you’ve been around this Internet marketing landscape for a while, you’ll know this isn’t the first time some businesses have been caught with their proverbial pants down because of Facebook.
In the beginning of Facebook, before the platform started letting anyone buy ads, many businesses built their entire marketing funnel on Facebook. They were making a mint!
Then as the company started rolling out ads, it also tweaked the algorithm to disadvantage business accounts. Suddenly, some of those businesses saw HUGE drop-offs in traffic and revenue overnight — and with no plan B.
So there actually is some painful history to learn from, whether we all decide to #deleteFacebook or not.
Don’t build your business on someone else’s land.
Years ago, Bryan Clark of Copyblogger coined the term “digital sharecropping” to refer to the practice those unfortunate businesses had been following: they built their entire business on someone else’s platform. And that’s just not smart, because as we have all learned, Facebook giveth, and Facebook taketh away.
It’s never a good strategy to get all your leads or sales from a single source. If and when that source dries up, you’re left twisting in the wind.
So while I don’t think it’s time to abandon ship (yet), it is time to start rethinking your marketing strategies if you rely heavily on Facebook for lead generation or marketing.
If you’re heavily invested in Facebook ads, it might be time to branch out and try Instagram, LinkedIn, or Google and at least test the waters.
If you have a heavy following on Facebook, start suggesting people follow you on another social channel — like Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
Continue to focus on getting your fans and followers off Facebook and on to your email list — where you have control.
Because every marketing channel has its time and place. And then they tend fall from grace.
Some take longer than others, but in this age of instant everything, fads, trends, and what’s working now change faster than most people change cars.
Remember when banner ads on websites were all the rage? (I feel like I’m probably dating myself here.) Today, I don’t personally know a single business that invests in banner ads. And why would you with the advent and popularity of ad blockers?
Direct mail still works for some niches, but it’s definitely not the powerhouse it was pre-Internet.
The point is that we don’t know what will happen with Facebook, and therefore it’s in our best interest not to put all our marketing eggs in Zuckerberg’s basket.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how you’re insulating yourself from any Facebook drama in your business! Leave me a comment below and let’s continue the discussion.