Why Facebook Is Really Not The Be-All, End-All Marketing Tool

Since starting Tanner Friedman, we have advised our clients and the readers of this blog on the importance of a multiplatform strategy. We believe it becomes more imperative each year to reach target audiences in different ways, as audiences splinter and media habits change.

In recent months, we have seen a new example that should make you take notice. The “new” Facebook has caused new challenges for users that relied, maybe too heavily, on that one platform to drive their business communications.

A case in point is a business that is, quite literally, close to me. My wife’s business, which is completely online, MCP Actions, astoundingly, has more than 90,000 “likes” on Facebook, and growing. But, because of the “new” Facebook, she has actually seen a decrease in website referrals from Facebook.

How can that be? Facebook doesn’t let you see everything you have “liked” or all of your “friends” in your news feed regularly. It prioritizes them for you, based on your interactions on their site. If you have passively read content from a person or business you elected to hear from, rather than interacted with it somehow (a comment, a status “like,” etc.), it’s less likely you’ll see them show up in your news feed now. So, for heavy Facebook users, chances are you aren’t seeing content from dozens (or more) of pages you opted-in to view.

So what’s a marketer to do? Continue on Facebook, and everywhere else that’s successful, but also invest time and resources into platforms that you can more fully control. MCP has spent more time in recent months on its e-newsletter and blog, where my wife can more directly reach customers without Facebook’s algorithms or filters. That has helped keep business results stronger than an overreliance on Facebook would have been.

Social Media is not the perfect business development tool that the self-proclaimed “experts” and “gurus” will have you believe. Facebook, in particular, can be a way – one way – of communicating messages and telling stories. But, like every other platform, it is changing fast and those changes may not always work to your advantage. This is another reminder that when investing in communications, like with financial investment, having a “diverse portfolio” can protect against risk.