Beyonce just released a new album on Instagram – totally ignoring Facebook. Facebook is dead!
It seems that one of the most talked about facets of Facebook is its demise. Its death knell has been heard almost since it started. After all, MySpace was wildly successful – until wasn’t.
Here are a few of the myths we have recently seen trumpeted around the Internet:
- Facebook is like MySpace. Facebook actually uses a completely different business model. And unlike MySpace, Facebook continues to evolve. When businesses began to try marketing on “personal” pages, Facebook introduced Business Pages. When companies wanted to advertise, Facebook opened their right margin to ads, and then allowed limited ads to appear in the News Feed. For marketers trying to keep up, it seems there is a new announcement about some Facebook tweak almost every day.
- Teenagers are leaving Facebook in droves.” This may be true. Youngsters are moving to other media. (We all know they are a fickle group!) However, when you look a little closer many are leaving because their parents are joining. Since many businesses that use Facebook to market products and services are more interested in customers in the parents’ age group than the children’s, the loss of the children is not really a big deal. In fact, many older people, who take a little longer to embrace new technology, are just now discovering Facebook. (A middle-aged friend of mind resisted FB for years. After her sister told her she was posting family photos there, she joined. She is now a frequent visitor with many new “friends.”)
- Facebook has decided to hide my posts from friends’ News Feeds. Because of the sheer number of Facebook users (even with the exodus of teenagers) it would be impossible to show everyone everything. Facebook has published guidelines to help marketers get more page views, including suggestions about posting more sharable content, posting more often, and using ads and promoted posts. While it might be more difficult to get our friends’ attention, it can still be done.
- Facebook is Free. Facebook continues to be free to use. However, if you want to use it effectively to promote your business, there is a cost – whether it is in time (learning the rules, understanding the best practices and spending time researching and posting “valuable” content) or money (hiring a Social Media Manager and paying for ads and promoted posts). Just as with any type of marketing, in order for it to be effective, there has to be a realistic budget.
- Facebook will always be the premier social network. This also is a myth. Nothing is forever, and there will come a time when the attention of the public is grabbed by something else. However, at this time Facebook remains an important part of many lives, and smart marketers will continue to capitalize on that fact.
- Facebook is the only game in town. Another myth. Businesses must continue to interact on the Social Media platforms their target customers’ are using. If they are selling to a younger audience, they may use Instagram, Twitter and Vine. If they want their content high on Google’s search engine, Google Plus is mandatory. If they want to appeal to women, they might look into Pinterest and Houzz. B2B companies, consultant and other professionals remain loyal to LinkedIn. And don’t forget email marketing, website “Calls to Action,” and even print, television and radio. There are many marketing channels and more seem to crop up every day. Smart business people will assess their options and spend their time and money wisely.
By the way, even though she didn’t launch her album there, Beyonce does have a very active Facebook Page with over 64 million followers!