A lot of companies are struggling. Social media is now fighting for relevance in our lives. We’ve got streaming, outdoor activities, and gaming… Why would we spend hours upon hours on a “social” platform that is really just forcing advertisements down our feeds? Well… here’s some perspective.
Facebook is losing the war for our ad dollars for several reasons. I’d like to say the first reason is the *lack* of actual social content on the site, but that’s ignoring the biggest change that’s taken its toll on Zuck and Co’s cash cow. Ready?
When Apple announced that they were not going to let Facebook or any other app to track your activity beyond the confines of their app/site, most of us rolled our eyes and sighed. We’ve heard this before. Privacy, yadda yadda yadda. Facebook cares about, yadda yadda yadda. Zuck is sorry for the transgressions of the past, but NOW he really gets the message.
Nope. That’s not the truth. Zuck and Co, TikTok, and Twitter, do not care about you or the privacy of your data. And, I’m not saying Apple is doing anything more than a land grab, but… Apple did fire the first canon blast into the hallowed halls of the free-for-all of the app and internet world.
Here’s what’s so BIG about Apple’s changes. Now, you get to authorize each and every app you load onto your eyePhone. “Do not track” options have caused Facebook and others to lose their GPS on your location, your browsing, and purchase history, once you have left their app. What once was a greenfield opportunity for advertisers, now is more walled off. If you’re advertising on Facebook you’re no longer getting the benefit of all that metadata about the audience you want to reach.
There’s still plenty of targeting on Facebook. And Zuck’s still got a firm grip on your on-site activities, but he no longer tracks you wherever you roam after leaving Facebook.
The bigger bummer about Facebook, in my opinion, is how the IPO turned our “social” platform into a sales and marketing platform. Today, with a group of 2,000 followers, my average reach for a post is 5 people. FIVE. To reach the people who “subscribed” or “liked” my business pages, I have to pay or boost my posts to reach them. In a recent AD I ran on Facebook, I paid $14 to reach 1/3 of the people who are following my page.
That model is not sustainable. And the results from Facebook advertising are getting worse. Perhaps it’s the stiff competition from (Facebook’s) Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Or, perhaps we’re tiring of marketing/marketing/marketing pretending to be “friends and family.” Facebook is 2% social and 98% business. And the push to move off Facebook to a new platform has only gotten louder. With Musk blowing up Twitter, the Chinese blowing off the US government on TikTok, and the “new” platforms of Post, Mastodon, and RealMe, the days of Facebook ad dominance have come to an end.
Facebook was supposed to be about friends not about e-commerce.
Let’s find a new place to hang out together. Where are you going to get your social interactions online? Let’s start the discussion.
John McElhenney — let’s connect online
@jmacofearth & Facebook & LinkedIn & The Whole Parent
Available from Amazon: The Twitter Way: Book One – Life