Dear Corporations, Delete Your Facebook Page

Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Shareholders are their own.

Let’s start with a quick quiz: Does your brand’s Facebook page routinely publish posts that lead to the next post to no engagement? Do you sometimes wonder if your target audience sees your Facebook posts at all? Do posts on other social platforms perform much better than similar ones on Facebook?

If you answered yes to any of these, you should delete your Facebook page.

Conventional wisdom is that every business should be on Facebook, share content and connect with customers. But the conventional wisdom is wrong.

Let’s start by going back ten years ago. LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” is the number one song in the country. Planking is a popular meme. Companies of all shapes and sizes are struggling to get to Facebook and start posting killer content. Believe me, I was there, and the messages were inevitable. Facebook can do everything – build connections with existing and potential consumers, launch viral promotions, improve SEO. Why, you can hardly bear it Not Be on Facebook.

But times have changed, memes have improved and Facebook was not the platform it used to be.

This is the most obvious with Membership Access, which Facebook defines as “the number of people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page.” Reach started declining in 2012 when Facebook unofficially lowered levels to about 16 percent — meaning that if your Page had 100 fans, only 16 of them were watching your Harlem Shake video. And by 2014, that number had fallen to 6 percent, according to an analysis at the time from Ogilvy.

Much has been written about the decline in organic reach, and the consensus is that paid posts are just the way to play the game — especially when you’re trying to build an audience on the platform. But this only leads to a bigger question: Are Facebook users really an important audience to you? You can certainly respond by saying, “Everyone who is part of my target audience is on Facebook, so yeah,” but are the virtual users you’re thinking of really there to engage with your brand’s content?

I can point to various reports detailing the changing demographics and user trends of Facebook, but I doubt that your personal experience on the platform makes a more compelling case. When was the last time you liked a brand page? When was the last time you worked with brand posts? When was the last time you invited your friends to like a Page?

Many of us out there cook up daily posts that only get a few (literally – five or less) reactions and no comments or clicks.

Related: Double Your Marketing With Facebook Live

But what about all the brands you’re killing off on Facebook? Hey, I never said Facebook can’t work with someone else. I said it might not work for you. More specifically, I’d say your company still needs a Facebook Page if:

  • You’re seeing a positive ROI from being on Facebook (paid or organic). If Facebook is still on top of your website traffic sources or responsible for conversions, ignore this tip. It is not for you.

  • The target market is regularly on Facebook and interacts with the content there. This is true for many local businesses (eg restaurants, bars, spas, and resorts) and media companies.

  • You have a lot of positive reviews on Facebook. I would never suggest deleting a channel that gives you social proof.

  • Potential customers communicate via Facebook Messenger. You want to meet your customers wherever they are. If they love getting answers in chat, then on Facebook!

Read this list again and be honest – do those bullets describe your company?

Your company at all No Need a Facebook page if:

  • There is no specific link between Facebook activity and website or landing page traffic and conversions.

  • The set of comments and reviews you receive on posts are irrelevant or negative.

  • Managing Facebook takes time and effort away from managing the most productive channels.

  • The only person left with Facebook admin privileges left the company eight months ago, and you haven’t noticed any changes in your digital marketing KPIs.

If any of these bullets hit the mark, you’re a prime candidate for “Delete Facebook ASAP”. But maybe I’m still not convinced. Here’s a case that shows why keeping your checking account is more risky than simply deleting it entirely, and how you can spread your social efforts into a more effective platform.

Related: 5 Facebook Campaign Components That Can Be The Difference Between New Customers And Missed Sales

So here’s the two-part risk angle. First, it sucks to have a company Facebook page that looks like a ghost town, with the five similar posts above looking like bordellos. It’s probably best if your audience doesn’t see a post like this because it’s embarrassing – like a holiday Instagram post that only wins the hearts of your family. And if you’re the one managing that account, it’s only a matter of time before one of the executives above says, “Hey, what’s new with Facebook?” Or one avid climber below says, “Hey, I think I can do a better job managing our social channels.”

And here’s the stalker (or Risk Part Two): Ghost Town accounts can suddenly come alive after a negative news cycle. If Facebook is an afterthought for you, you’d better be prepared to put it front and center the moment the New York Times or Politico article you’ve been dreading finally drops. Perhaps your CEO made an ill-advised political comment? Foreign investment ends in scandal? If so, I hope you have a good community manager on call and ready to respond to the angry Facebook users who suddenly find their way to your last post titled “Happy 4th of July from our family to yours”.

Here are a few things you can do after you finally pull the curtains on Facebook:

  • Focus on the grams. Instagram is not for every brand, but if your posts are primarily visible, you will find that almost all the advantages of Facebook can be found on Instagram.

  • Focus on Twitter. Twitter isn’t for every brand either, but if you’re trying to stand out in your industry or grab the attention of journalists, it’s a great place to grab attention and start developing relationships.

  • Focus on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is my second home. It’s not just a generic resume. Many claim to hate it, but it is the best single platform – none blocking it – to reach decision makers in corporate positions. In that sense, it’s the complete opposite of Facebook.

  • Donate, don’t shut down, your Facebook. This article may have convinced you that your potential customers or clients don’t participate on Facebook, but your potential employees might as well. Then maybe it’s time for your team to relinquish control of this platform and give the keys to your fellow talent acquisition teammates.

Related Topics: How to Turn Your Brand Facebook into a Marketing Gold Mine

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