If you’ve turned on the news at all this week you’ll see one of my favorite people, Mark Zuckerberg, Creator of Facebook, testifying in front of Congress. If you missed the reason he’s testifying, I’ll summarize it for you:
- Facebook collects data
- Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, allegedly obtained information on 50 million Facebook users in an effort to promote Donald Trump’s candidacy for US President
- Facebook is accused of not doing enough to protect users’ data
Many people I know have started posting #deleteFacebook, but let’s be honest, posting you’re going to delete it is counterproductive. With the #deleteFacebook hashtag gaining some momentum you’re probably concerned about your business if you do a lot of advertising or draw a lot of leads from Facebook.
Here are my thoughts on how to handle the Facebook situation.
Have a long-term marketing plan that is not Facebook exclusive
I cannot begin to tell you how many business owners I know who rely solely on Facebook for their marketing efforts. Facebook has been cool for a decade but it’ll phase out. Myspace was also cool but no one is advertising there anymore (if you are, we should chat). Never rely solely on one social media platform to grow your business. If Facebook ceased to exist tomorrow, would your business survive? Build an email list, get on Pinterest, try some traditional marketing, etc.
2. Better utilize the data on Facebook
The reason the data on Facebook exists is because we as the users have put it out there. We’ve gotten on a public social media site to share where we are, stamp photos with geotags, like pages, join Facebook groups, etc. Facebook is collecting all that data because we put it out there. Cambridge Analytica, if able to swing the political election is a pretty great case study about how effective good tailored marketing can be. If you’re hitting people in a way they want to be marketed to and sharing the messages they need, you can impact change, whether it’s global or in your business.
So, while I don’t think you need to #deleteFacebook anytime soon, I do think it’s time to branch out. You wouldn’t build a home without a contingency fund, so don’t build your business without a solid and varied marketing plan.