The news is abuzz with Russian infiltration of Facebook. This may seem like purely political news, but in fact it has a real impact on many businesses, especially small businesses.
Overwhelmed business owners and marketing directors have come to rely heavily on the ease of Facebook. It’s easy to post news on the Facebook Business Page. It’s easy to respond to comments. It’s easy to pay $10 and boost the visibility of information you’d like to spread. The nice people at Facebook spent a lot of time and money making it really easy to use Facebook. Even people who claim to be inept at computerized tasks can figure it out.
This has caused a lot of businesses to skew their attention and activity away from their websites in favor of their Facebook pages. In some cases, staff have forgotten the password to make changes to the website, lost their relationship with their web designer, or failed to train new hires in how to update the website. It was easy to let these tasks fall to the wayside when they could tell their customers to check their Facebook Page instead.
Unfortunately, this strategy, already flawed, has reached its sad end. Facebook is embarrassed that outsiders were manipulating such a prominent and personal platform to publish divisive political posts and egg on our own arguments. As a result, Facebook is making changes so that the average Facebook user sees more baby pictures, dog pictures, and personal sharing from family and friends. That means fewer posts from people you don’t know and fewer organizational posts. In short, you are seeing more words and pictures from people and fewer words and pictures from companies and organizations.
What’s the upshot? The posts on your business page are going to become nearly invisible. And the money you spend to boost them will be less effective.
A company’s website should be the hub of its news and accurate information. Tools that automatically push new articles and blog posts from the website to social media channels are great time-savers, but they need to operate in the correct order. Your website should not feature your latest Facebook Posts. Your Facebook Page should feature (and link back to) your latest website posts. Your website is your property. You control the intellectual property. You control how it is displayed. Your important branding and assets need to live primarily on property you control so they are not at the whim of Facebook or other social media channels. Remember, if you aren’t paying to house your content, you can’t complain about what happens to it.
If you or someone you know needs to turn attention from Facebook back to a real website, call SiteInSight for help. We love to help our clients keep their websites fresh and up-to-date, and make the website the source of information and expertise that flows out to social media, rather than the other way around.