Is the Facebook Bubble About to Burst—And Does It Matter To Your Company?
2020 wasn’t a stellar year for Facebook, and it’s not all COVID’s fault. In fact, most of it is self-inflicted.
You probably saw the company was dealing with anti-trust lawsuits.
And back in May, advertisers left the platform in droves as a protest against the company’s lack of overt support for black rights.
More recently, Facebook made it painfully clear to marketers that some of its self-serve ad tools and reporting may become woefully ineffective after the latest iOS updates that block user data.
This isn’t even the full list of headline-worthy issues the company is facing, but it’s enough to scare more marketers, business owners, and users away.
If this wasn’t one of the biggest companies in the world, Facebook would appear to be on fire.
With so much hitting the fan over at Facebook, the question from the outside is this: “How much longer does the platform have?”
The answer, I would guess, is as long as Mark Zuckerberg and his team want it to last. Mark and Co. are a smart bunch, and Facebook’s pockets run deep. If Facebook goes under, it won’t be from bankruptcy.
Still, 2020 pressed Facebook harder than most years. The iOS issue, for example, is alarming for marketers who rely on hard data, and Facebook-owned Instagram is blatant about its own issues with accurately reporting on shares and replies with new privacy rules in Europe.
Without data, many freeze up, unsure of what to do next.
The Big Question
So, here’s the question for you: Do you need to be on Facebook? And if you’re already on Facebook, should you stay there?
The short answer: It depends.
Facebook’s algorithm increases the difficulty level for B2B companies to perform well on the platform, and B2C companies still need to work really hard to keep their traction going. If you have a B2B company, Facebook likely isn’t the place to be. There are exceptions, of course, and there are ways to have a vibrant Facebook following as a B2B firm. But the simple fact remains: It’s hard without a thoughtful strategy. And it’s going to get harder.
Advertising on Facebook is likely going to be more difficult in 2021, depending on who you’re targeting and where you’re selling. Example: Creating new ads for an iPhone app to sell to people in France is going to be tricky, as you’re working against EU data issues and iOS reporting limitations. You can still do it, but you’ll have trouble optimizing.
Bottom line: If your target demographic is active on Facebook, you’ll need to work harder than ever to get in front of them in a way that resonates. Many of the same rules apply here as everywhere else: leverage great visuals and videos. Tag when appropriate. Create share-worthy content people care about. Join and engage with relevant groups.
The Big Answer
Despite all of the challenges present, Facebook still has value for many companies, but it’s more important than ever to understand its architecture and intricacies. The platform’s not going anywhere, and even the protests last year seem to be short-lived over time. Understand Facebook on a deep level, and you can