Is Facebook A Beast Or A Burden?
From using the platform on a personal level to applying Internet Marketing Strategies, Facebook often lends itself to being questionable about its benefits.
The beast of social media platforms known as Facebook has grown into what I consider to be constantly tipping the scales of balance between love and hate. Naturally there is no universal way to describe Facebook. One user can love every part of it as it suits their lifestyle and offers things that make their lives better. Another may hate everything about it except the value of keeping up with friends and family.
Full disclosure, I personally don’t login to Facebook anymore. Several years ago I just quit and walked away. I still broadcast my marketing messages to my business pages through other means, and should any of my pages need a hands on update I will login to handle the task and leave as quickly as I arrived. All of my notification bubbles are in triple digits.
That may seem a bit awkward coming from someone who likes to advise others in regards to online marketing, however just because I am not poking friends, liking and sharing content, or updating my status and checking in on Facebook on a daily basis I am not out of the loop. I stay aware of what’s important in marketing my business there, and the ongoing changes in features, updates and algorithms that Facebook throws around on a regular basis. It’s my job to know these things, but I don’t have to be a daily user to stay informed.
The trouble I personally have with Facebook is the habitual changes they employ in the way they want Facebook to work. Once you get an online strategy going that fits their algorithms and gets your content noticed in the news feeds, they throw a box of dead batteries into the system and you have to change things again. Furthermore I can’t help but speculate that each one of these changes is driving the platform towards generating ad revenue from those of us running businesses. Roll out a few subtle road blocks in regards to your content on the site, and offer a button to pay and get over that road block.
The other side of the network that strikes me is the way many users have become so attached to it. I’ve seen Facebook controlling people’s lives. It’s painfully clear that some users feel that a Facebook status, friending or un-friending another or even liking a political post that might have a left or right point of view can be seen as comparable to key scratching their car with hateful rhetoric or setting their cat on fire. Facebook seems to remove the face to face conversation element of decency on things that are often simple passing events that happen without any confrontation at all during a night out at happy hour.
Having ranted a little, allow me to offer a few opinions regarding Facebook and common things I have discovered frequently mentioned in recent conversations about it:
I don’t use Facebook anymore for personal reasons so I stopped using it for maintaining a business profile there.
I have several clients that have brought this to my attention. And my first response is I understand. Facebook can be a place you don’t care to be. However, I do see value in keeping and maintaining a business page and presence on the network. It is a benefit in terms of search engines, online discovery and providing Facebook users with an option to follow you on the platform. Many users expect a brand to be there, and they are consumers in one way or another.
You can easily use an online tool such as HootSuite to keep generating posts and content to share on your Facebook business page and never have to login to Facebook to do it. This has been my approach and it keeps my business alive there despite the fact that I no longer care to dwell in that online space.
I’m on Facebook because I have to be, but it drives me crazy and/or I waste too much time when I’m logged on.
Simple advice: you don’t have to be on Facebook. You had perfectly good methods of keeping in touch with friends and family before Facebook was launched. You have other ways to follow your favorite businesses, hobbies, news, celebrities and other interests on alternative social media platforms like Twitter. And again, you can maintain your business presence from outside of the Facebook bubble.
I use Facebook as my primary or only method of Internet Marketing.
This could work well for some, however I would suggest that it limits your ability to reach consumers that don’t spend much time on the platform or don’t even use it at all. For example, last weekend I was looking to follow a local drag racing venue on Twitter to stay informed on summer events. They only offer me the option of following them on Facebook for being notified of that information. I’ll just have to stay unaware of any events they will be promoting, and if there are 100 others like me that adds up to quite a bit of ticket sales.
To sum it all up, consider how life without Facebook might affect your life and your business. If it gives you comfort and happiness you’re in good shape! However if Facebook is becoming a burden on your for any reason, remember that leaving is always an option while keeping your business alive in that bubble from the outside.