Should Small Businesses begin to completely ignore Facebook? Sandro and Liz discuss this idea along w some caveats as well as what you may want to focus on instead.
Is Facebook Still Relevant for Small Business Marketing?
Liz: [00:00:03] Hey there, welcome back to the show. If this is your first time listening, then welcome. I’m Liz Hersh and my cohost is Sandro Galindo. Together we provide tips and insight about digital marketing, social media, SEO, reputation management and other timely things we want to debate. Which is what we’re doing today. We are going to be talking about whether or not Facebook is still relevant for small businesses.
Sandro: [00:00:26] Thanks Liz. I originally wanted to call this episode “Facebook is Horrible,” or “I Hate Facebook.” All of that kind of stuff.
Liz: [00:00:33] Which would all be relevant. I think they would, those all express my feelings at times.
Sandro: [00:00:39] The reason I wanted to do this is that last week we made the decision that unless it’s paid, we’re just going to push Facebook to the very back burner for our clients. We’re officially done with Facebook organically. There are caveats I’ll get to, but for now, unless something drastic changes, we are through spending brain cells or crafting messages or artwork or for posts on Facebook.
Liz: [00:01:06] Just wasting any time, I shouldn’t say, investing any time in organic reach on Facebook.
Facebook’s Heyday Is Gone
Sandro: [00:01:12] Exactly. Gone are the days when organic Facebook posts and creation took up 50 percent of our time. I think we’re taking it down to 5 percent of our time.
Liz: [00:01:21] Wow.
Sandro: [00:01:22] And honestly that may be too much. But from here on we’re focusing on Instagram’s feed, the wording, the tagging, the hashtags for that. Instagram stories, getting the artwork done, and the buttons, and the gifs all set up. And Twitter. That’s what we’re focusing on. We’ll still post on Facebook, but where it used to be once or twice a day back in the day, it’s once or twice a week just to let people know the lights are on and that if you have customer service issues, know that we’re here. But otherwise we’re done. That’s it. I actually deleted the app from my phone last week. I still have my account, but I have bookmarked shortcuts on my laptop to all the client pages, so I just skip through all the news feed mess and all that other stuff and…
Liz: [00:02:05] Oh, that’s a good idea.
Sandro: [00:02:06] Go straight to work, yeah just I avoid all that stuff. And as I did this, a day or two later these stats came out.
15 Million Fewer US Users
Liz: [00:02:12] That’s right. Edison Research is reporting an estimated 15 million fewer users in the U.S. compared with 2017. So, oh and they are also reporting that this drop came from the 12 to 34 year old age group. Yeah. Now Facebook is still seeing global growth in general which is why quarterly earnings reports are showing growth. And there’s a little bit of growth in the 55 plus age group. But at any rate 15 million fewer users is pretty significant. I think they said it was about 6 percent.
Sandro: [00:02:54] And that’s here in the United States.
Liz: [00:02:57] In the United States, yeah. And I will also toss in, my husband Rob, he deleted the app from his phone as well. His account is still active, but he’s never, he’s never going to pull it up on his website. You know, he doesn’t have clients that he’s checking pages for. He’s pretty much done. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in the near future he just deactivates it completely.
Sandro: [00:03:19] I would not blame him. I wish I could do that. But of course we’ve got clients to service.
Liz: [00:03:22] Yeah, of course we have, yeah. And there’s some groups, business related groups that I am a part of and that’s kind of the watercooler, that’s where we go to share information. And it is convenient, a convenient place. I would almost prefer that over my inbox being filled up with, you know, a million replies so, yeah. The other, the other thing that this Edison Research report showed was that, yes people are leaving Facebook but they’re not necessarily leaving social media altogether. Some of them are going over to Instagram, which as we know is owned by Facebook. And I don’t think a lot of people realize that.
Less Facebook Equates to Happier People
Sandro: [00:04:01] I love your last stat.
Liz: [00:04:03] Yeah. As I was doing some research for this episode, New York University and Stanford University did a study showing that leaving Facebook, even for four weeks at a time, it showed a small but significant improvement in people’s self reported happiness and just general satisfaction with life. I mean, that’s huge. Now, this study also reported that people felt less informed, but I would argue that you shouldn’t be getting your news from Facebook anyways. You should be going to reputable sources. So yeah, definitely some big shifts in Facebook over the last several months.
Sandro: [00:04:46] And there are many reasons to hate Facebook. Privacy issues, fake news. Dozens of people being killed in other countries like Myanmar because of Facebook posts. They’re not keeping it under control. They keep fixing what a view is on a video. They’ve changed that at least three times.
Liz: [00:05:03] Oh, yeah, that’s been a mess.\
Mark Zuckerberg Deleted Anything He’s Ever Written in Messenger
Sandro: [00:05:04] The fact that not long ago, Mark Zuckerberg actually had his engineers create something that with the snap of a button would delete all of his Facebook messages completely. Just like Thanos and the Avengers making people disappear. But only he was allowed to use it. People start noticing all of their Facebook messages, conversations with him, they were all one sided. They could only see their messages and all of his were gone. So that’s something that Facebook now has. You can potentially instantly delete all of your Facebook messages from all time, but only he has access to it, him personally.
Sandro: [00:05:39] And on top of that, last week, or this week actually, this past week, he penned a 3200 word essay saying Facebook is moving more towards encryption and privacy. And lots of people called him out on it. Tech famous people, reporters alike were calling him out, including Walt Mossberg, a famous tech journalist, saying they didn’t believe him and others pointing out that they expected a bounce in Facebook stock after that announcement. And there was none. Possibly indicating that the market doesn’t believe him either. They don’t think he’s actually going to move it towards more privacy.
What to Use Facebook For
Sandro: [00:05:59] So I’m just done with him. The things we are still using Facebook for, are events. Our events kill it on Facebook. I think Facebook wants to be a destination for things to do. So that’s one thing. And also of course for ads. We actually ran our very first jobs ad last week and it did really well. We were really impressed with what it did. Compared to this client used to spend money, or still spends money on Indeed to look for new people. But 20 bucks on Facebook and they had 80 applications.
Liz: [00:06:38] Oh wow.
Sandro: [00:06:39] And four phenomenal people that they’re keeping. It’s for seasonal work but they’re going to keep them permanent if they want to stay. So unless you’re paying to post on Facebook, I’m saying don’t waste your time. It’s over. Take the L out of lover. It’s over. And yeah, I know Instagram is owned by Facebook like you said and I’m sure we’ll encounter some shadiness there over time. But for now, it’s organic reach. It is not bad. Instagram and their stories are reaching a lot of people. I know it will be declining soon, but that’s where we’re focusing on. There and Twitter is where we are choosing to spend our time.
Liz: [00:07:19] I like it. And I will share really quickly without digressing too much, I’m working on training some of my team and yeah, I’m seeing us pulling back on Facebook for sure.
Sandro: [00:07:32] And I’m advising pretty much everyone to do that. Unless you have a budget or unless you have a lot of events.
How Much Should You Budget for Facebook?
Liz: [00:07:37] And so that’s interesting when you mention budget. Coming to the platform with a budget. In the past, you and I have had conversations about what’s a minimum ad spend on say, Google Ads, Google pay-per-click. Are you thinking of a minimum for Facebook?
Sandro: [00:07:54] We tell people a dollar a day is minimum.
Liz: [00:07:56] Which is still pretty low.
Sandro: [00:07:57] Yeah 30 bucks a month, c’mon. We’re telling people, five dollars a day is the minimum you really want to be spending. But, yeah for the Facebook jobs ads they don’t take anything, where it’s a dollar a day for every other Facebook ad, for the jobs it’s ten dollars a day minimum.
Liz: [00:08:15] OK.
Sandro: [00:08:15] Which is fine. They were no problem.
Liz: [00:08:17] Sure, yeah. I mean, if you’re getting results, that’s 10, 20 bucks well spent.
Sandro: [00:08:22] Yes. We got those 80 applications directly correlated to those 20 dollars. So that was 25 cents per application.
Liz: [00:08:29] Nice.
Ignore Facebook Unless You’re Ready to Pay
Sandro: [00:08:30] So yeah. So just ignore Facebook unless you’re ready to pay or you’ve got a lot of events.
Liz: [00:08:35] Well, good stuff. And if any of our listeners have any thoughts or if you disagree, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll definitely give you a shout out on the show. That wraps up today’s episode. Thanks for joining. Don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And please show us some love on iTunes. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we will see you next time.