Wow, the world’s biggest social media platform has come under fire in recent weeks. At the centre of the storm is a firm called Cambridge Analytica – the company that worked on Trump’s campaign. According to reports in the UK, both companies have been illegally harvesting and using private user data. When Facebook comes under pressure, it has a ripple effect on businesses as a whole. After all, the platform is a major part of advertising for SMEs and large corporations. So, it is time to put the book down and save face, or is it still a useful tool? Let’s take a look.
Remember that although Cambridge Analytica and Mark Zuckerberg are in the dock, your business won’t get away scot-free. Why? It’s because data handling is a very important issue to the modern day consumer. As the internet links the world, people want to protect their privacy from what they see as Big Brother taking a keen interest in their affairs. If they can’t trust your firm to look after their data, they will bounce. Sadly, being in partnership with Facebook makes you guilty by association even though there are ways to protect info.
Let’s not be naïve and assume data harvesting is the only issue for businesses. Although it has gone unnoticed, Facebook has announced changes to its News Feed feature which doesn’t seem as if it will bode well for companies. In simple terms, the platform is going to penalise pages and media posts that don’t engage users. Em digital/creative has a thorough explanation of the changes and what they will mean if you are interested. One thing to focus on is the fact that marketing on Facebook may take a hit in the future unless the company figures out how to spark debate.
In spite of the controversy and platform changes, the numbers make for positive reading. Zephoria has the current total of users at 2 billion per month, which is an increase of over 10% from last year. 1.4bn people log in daily, and 1.1bn daily users use mobile devices log-in to their account. In truth, do you know of another marketing tactic which provides these numbers? Sure, free organic reach is slowing, but the same can’t be said for paid advertising. Notice how the figures are in billions and not millions, people.
Although the majority of companies use the platform for marketing purposes, some businesses aren’t towing the line. Wishpond has three examples, but Copyblogger is probably the most famous of the trio. Not only did the firm not have the time or energy to put into Facebook, but they knew their base was elsewhere. So, they left and decided to pursue new opportunities, such as Google+ and Twitter. CB was brave, but it has paid dividends from them in a big way.
In conclusion, Facebook is and continues to be a titan of marketing, especially for SMEs. However, there are cons to being in bed with the company at the moment. Plus, competing firms have shown there is life after FB.