Facebook: Love it or Leave it?

Facebook is the Tom Brady of social platforms. 

Like the six-time Super Bowl champ, Facebook is wildly successful, yet often elicits a similar love/hate reaction. (Of course, in Brady’s case, that’s what happens when a Clooney-level-handsome NFL idol marries a supermodel stunner like Gisele Bündchen. #PlayingTheWorldsTiniestViolin)

And like Brady, Facebook dominates its playing field, despite what feels like a poppin’ fresh scandal every month. Tom had “Deflategate.” Facebook has had everything from the Russian hacking / election shenanigans, to the Cambridge Analytics data drama, to the recent privacy-for-sale kerfuffle.

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End result? 

Businesses like yours may start to wonder if Facebook is worth the trouble. (Just as you’re now wondering how to use “kerfuffle” at today’s meeting.)

So, does Facebook deserve its image problem? Or is this just Mark Zuckerberg-flavored schadenfreude?

For instance: a Senate investigation held Instagram responsible for more Russian election interference than Facebook (disclosure: they’re both owned by Zuckerberg). As Bloomberg.com puts it, “There were 187 million interactions with Instagram content, compared with 77 million on Facebook and 73 million on Twitter, according to a data set of posts between 2015 and 2018, analyzed by New Knowledge, Columbia University and Canfield Research.” 

Apparently, in some corners, Facebook is synonymous with “social” – and blamed for all its faults.

That’s not surprising. Aside from the recent clown-car pileup of negative headlines, Facebook has been around for 15 years. That’s like 400 dog years in social media. 

It may have been the granddaddy of platforms in 2004, but in the endless drive to lure eyeballs, Facebook’s primacy has been challenged by flavor-of-the-month upstarts hogging headlines and poaching millions of monthly active users (are your ears bursting into flames, YouTube, SnapChat, Twitter and Pinterest?) 

Do Facebook’s recent stumbles mean it’s doomed to join zombie brands like AOL and MySpace?

Spoiler alert: Don’t believe the hype. Believe the results of a Pew Research Center survey report:

  • 68% of American adults are still on Facebook

  • 74% of those adults visit Facebook at least once per day

  • 81% of users are in the demographic sweet spot of 18 to 29 years old

  • 43% of adults get their news from Facebook, double the next leading social site

And if that’s not enough to convince you Facebook’s demise is greatly exaggerated, try this: by the end of 2018, its fourth-quarter profits rose 30%, up to $16.91 billion in revenue with 2.32 billion monthly active users. All during a period when their press coverage reeked.

But enough with the stats. What does this mean in terms of your business relationship with Facebook?

Despite persistent image problems and whippersnapper rivals, Facebook remains the boss (or in this case, the Brady) of social media. For companies like yours, it’s where you want to be, though the Content Marketing Institute’s verdict on Facebook includes one key caveat: paid content is the secret sauce to Facebook success.

 Facebook is still your best bet for social content promotion, but you must pay to play – even to reach your own fans. If you do it correctly, the expense will elicit greater benefits – giving you better data to work with, and eventually contributing to a decrease in the cost of lead conversions. The trick is to organize your campaigns around message match and prioritize audience-building. From there, you can routinely split test both creatives and placements to find the cheapest way to get clicks. And, don’t forget, better content is a must too.

Which is where Idea Decanter comes in (and by the way, we don’t knock).

We produce better content and greater engagement for our clients. We connect customers to you in authentic ways that inspire trust. We engage prospects with high-quality video – but also with the right kind of video (square video rocks – here’s why). 

In short, just think of us as the Bill Belichick of your Facebook presence, coaching you in social media like Belichick coaches Brady to all those Super Bowl rings. 

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