Could it be? Apparently, Facebook is going back to its origins – and we couldn’t be happier. At Micro Business Monday there’s always been a cognitive dissonance towards Facebook. On one hand, it’s literally the most popular social platform in the world (with Instagram a close second) and one of the most user-friendly mediums for businesses of all stages to create a digital presence and take part in the noise that we call social media. On the other hand, it was/is inundated with said businesses clamoring to find their way on your Facebook newsfeed so that you could “like” and click to “learn more”.
You must have a Facebook Page, they said. It’s the best way to market, they said. And in a way, they were right. Facebook saw that savvy businesses early on were using the platform to break the fourth wall between consumer and business. No more billboards. No more commercials. Away with the flyers left on the hoods of cars. This was different. This was social. And that’s when things began to change.
I remember when Facebook first arrived. I was in the Economics computer lab at Loyola Marymount University when my classmate approached me, eyes wide-open, about an email he received announcing our school among the selected the few to try out this new platform. It was like Myspace, but better. Only a handful of universities and colleges were invited and you needed a “.edu” school address to register. Fast forward to 2017, 2018 and it arguably became the most powerful marketing tool entrepreneurs had at their disposal.
Then came abuses to the system. While adding likes was a novel idea, we all learned how quickly this system became compromised by fake likes, fake followers, and fake pages. Facebook announced that pay-for-likes were not permitted, yet in a weird twist, offered paid boosts and campaigns to generate likes and more traffic to Pages. And advertisers and entrepreneurs alike made valiant attempts to crack the algorithm for obtaining optimal engagement. Finally, Facebook announced likes don’t really matter and at that point, I gave myself permission to feel that Facebook doesn’t really matter for my business. While I and others felt liberated, we are not unaware (or so insensitive) to the fact the negative implications this will have on several businesses, for whom Facebook worked, will be disastrous. In fact, we’ve already begun to hear anecdotally how thriving businesses have seen their business wiped out almost completely – all because Mark Zuckerberg decided paid ads and other media content should not compete with your friends’ on your own newsfeed.
If Facebook did not play an important role in your business, good riddance. However, for those who ran their businesses from their Facebook Page, this change could have severe effects.
- Long-form, narrative-style posts with pictures (plural) attached will be favored over shorter, impersonal posts
- Features such as polls, check-in, tag a product and others will be used more often and in different ways
- Viewing Facebook Pages as a living landing page, of sorts, where visitors arrive at a well-optimized and designed Page that encourages their participation (engagement)
- Emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses will abandon Facebook as a legitimate marketing tool
What Are Your Thoughts? Leave your comments below.