To start with, for the past couple of months, brands have been up in arms about their decline in the visibility of their standard posts since the social giant launched Promoted Posts. Ars Technica went so far as accusing Facebook of being “broken on purpose” to encourage use of its latest paid feature.
Then Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lent a celebrity face to the outcry with the following tweet:
And he followed up by posting on his personal blog:
FB is what it is. Its a time waster. That’s not to say we don’t engage, we do. We click, share and comment because it’s mindless and easy. But for some reason FB doesn’t seem to want to accept that it’s [sic] best purpose in life is as a huge time suck platform that we use to keep up with friends, interests and stuff. I think that they are over thinking what their network is all about.
The pile-on continued when IBM, in its Black Friday Report 2012, reported that Facebook drove a paltry 0.68 percent of referral traffic on the nation’s biggest shopping day.
Dude, I got depressed just writing all that stuff.
So yeah, if you’re Facebook, you’re probably feeling pretty picked-on these days. But what does it all mean for us marketers who are trying to put together a social strategy for 2013?
My Take on the Whole Mess
A lot of folks have asked my opinion about “the whole Facebook thing” over the past few weeks, so here it is.
First of all, everybody calm down. However all this shakes out, it won’t be the end of the world.
Second, let’s all remember that Facebook is a free platform. Sure, we all invest time and effort into our Facebook Pages, but unless you choose to participate in its purely optional promotional features, it’s free. And in Facebook as in life, you frequently get what you pay for.
To put that into perspective: If someone is offering you free pizza every day, then one day decides to take away the pepperoni (or to offer it only as a paid add-on), hey, you’re still getting free pizza.
Third, yes, it is possible that this is the beginning of Facebook’s fall from the top of the social media mountain. It might happen, and if it does, we’ll have to adjust. But adjust we will.
I’ve long speculated that Google’s strategy all along with Google+ was to create a superb social network, then bide their time until a critical mass of people got fed up with Facebook. Kinda like the “just friends” boy who hangs around until that magical day when his crush decides to dump her putz of a boyfriend. Maybe that will happen with Google+, maybe not. We’ll all just have to wait and see.
To sum up, yes, the social media times, they are a-changing. But hey, we’re smart, capable people, and we can adapt to anything. We made the switch from MySpace to Facebook (those of us old-timers who were around then), and if the future holds a new King of the Socialverse (maybe even the freshly relaunched MySpace?), we’ll adjust our strategies and move forward.
I have faith.
Image Source: My Social Media Experience