Mid-market companies should reconsider using their Facebook as their main means of delivering updates and information about their company.
Over the last few years, many regional companies have shifted away from their traditional website in favor of utilizing their Facebook page. Many believe that more consumers are on Facebook and that it’s less expensive to update and edit their content there. For a small company this model works well and makes sense. However, it may not be the correct decision for a regional or mid-market size company. So, what’s wrong with this thinking? A lot actually!
Let’s dive into a few of the issues and you’ll understand why this is a bad play for many regional and mid-market companies.
First, are Facebook’s different analysis and mining algorithms. Long gone are the days when all your followers are automatically finding your content in their news feed. Recently, if you have been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that you only see the same handful (twenty or thirty) “friends” posts in your feed.
That’s due to Facebook’s algorithms determining that they know what is best for you. With hundreds of millions of posts daily, Facebook is trying to convince you that they are doing you a favor by showing you only the posts Facebook thinks you care to see. Sounds great doesn’t it? After all, who wants all that social noise anyway? Right? Well that sounds good but it’s not completely accurate.
Foremost, Facebook is a business and their business happens to be social media. And, like all good businesses they need to make money and want to make more money every year. Completely commendable, right? I think so but here is a look into the business side of this “favor”.
They are a social site, but they are also a media and publicity delivery vessel, just like print, radio and TV. They need to capitalize and take full advantage of all the businesses that want to access hundreds of millions of users. It’s good business and makes complete sense… for them. But not necessarily for other businesses.
When a company decides to utilize this format as their primary on line business format, they may be limiting their own company’s exposure due to Facebook’s algorithms and platform.
So, even though a business may have thousands or millions of followers, the likely hood that those people are seeing their messages are nearly slim to none. That is why Facebook now recommends, (which is a subtle way of saying forces you) to “Boost” posts which is code for “pay if you want anyone to see this message.”
The next issue businesses should consider when using this form of media as their main driver of web content is that the content that they are putting out on Facebook, belongs to Facebook, not the company. Basically, everyone is renting space from Facebook. Think of these posts like Facebook is the landlord and can dictate the rules of who can see the content and how often. And, as many people have experienced, Facebook likes to change their rules on a whim.
Companies need to take their social message in their own hands. I’m not suggesting that you not utilize Facebook because it’s a good medium, but rather use them only to the degree that you would use other social sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
A company should be the master of their own message and while it’s time consuming and takes time to gain traction a company needs to build, maintain and constantly improve their website. Then they need to establish a secondary means of communication with their consumers and followers. Apps, texting and email lists are three great examples, where a company can continue a conversation with as many followers as it cares to reach based on their own criteria.
It takes time and effort, but most companies now have an internal social and/or IT employee or department and It’s well worth their time. Remember at the beginning of the article I asked who wants all that social noise?
The social sites by design have created most of that noise and continue to develop more ways to create noise. It’s self- serving and good business for them. By doing so, they also continue to garner new ways to charge businesses to rise above that noise.
Facebook does what’s best for them and they should. Regional and mid-market companies must follow their lead and do what is best for their own company.