Unless your next marketing campaign is an exotic exception, you’d have to be slightly unbalanced not to include Facebook in your marketing mix.

There simply is no platform that will give you more value for money today than Facebook. Except perhaps Google AdWords, but that would be comparing apples to …

And yet, for some time now, I find myself thinking about – even planning for – a not so distant future where Facebook will no longer take center stage in my content marketing.
And it’s not just that I’ve gone off Facebook (a bit , much in the same way I went off MySpace a long time ago when it still looked like this).
It’s not even the fact that my three kids (14, 12 and 9 at time of writing, bless their little hearts), wouldn’t be caught dead using Facebook. Although, as Facebook itself admits, teen abandonment could be problematic. Then again, similar reports hit the news in 2015 and even ‘way back’ in 2013.

But, it’s just a lot of other things that leave a bit of a bad taste in your mouth.

Scares and scandals

Take the scares and the scandals, for instance. If it’s not the Russians or their American President, it’s UK-based analytics firms with the moral compass of a demented maggot that put Facebook’s capacity and efforts for providing a secure and safe social environment to naught.

Blackbox

There’s also the blackbox and the numbers.
Meaning: you know what you put into Facebook: all of your customer data and a lot of money. But only Facebook knows what it allows to come out in your direction.
Are you sure the reported reach, engagement, clicks or even impressions – if you’re still into those – are really happening? I always see discrepancies between my social and other analytics (Google, Adobe…). And that’s usually explained away as technical issues. Problems with page loading times, perhaps. Or just different platforms using different definitions for the same term.

But even inside Facebook, things can get messy. Have you never noticed differences between the same stat, depending if it comes from Facebook Insights or Facebook Business Manager? No?

Ch–ch–changes

And how Facebook likes to change stuff around. All for improvement’s sake, of course. It is so much fun to to see stats you’ve kept for a good length of time all of a sudden rendered unusable. Merely because Facebook has changed some parameters or the way it counts or reports certain stats.
Always fun to have to explain to your boss why the bottom has just fallen out of his favourite KPI.
If your business actually depends on Facebook for its survival, every new change might be one too many.

Too much/too few

There is a huge overload of sponsored content on Facebook. And I personally contribute to that. I do apologise. But, in my defense, at least I make a stab at providing original, interesting content, targeted at the right people.
But….in any case: too much sponsored nonsense!

So Facebook, always eager to protect its users, has vowed to take action and try to limit the amount of rubbish people see in their timeline. By testing a new Explore feed, for instance,which would make it harder for publishers to reach their audiences. Or at least, make it more expensive for their content to have a real impact.

It’s a chicken-or-egg discussion really: Facebook wants to give users a great experience, and that doesn’t include paid advertising. But… it’s the advertisers that keep Facebook running, because they’re the only ones who pay to use the platform…
Or, let’s put that the other way around: Facebook wants to lay its hands on all the money it can grab. But they can’t afford to alienate their non-paying users, so they make a show of limiting advertiser’s access to their target audience.
The Explore feed idea has been scrapped in the meantime.
It’s only a matter of time before Mr. Zuckerberg comes up with a new idea to make more money while at the same time annoying less users.

So what do you do if you don’t want to use Facebook anymore?

That will be the topic of my follow-up article.
Stay tuned. Or subscribe to my mailing list and get notified when the next update arrives.

 

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