Whilst rumours of Facebook’s demise might be a little premature, the report this week that it has lost six million users (155.2 million to 149.4 million) in recent weeks in the US could be a sign that Facebook mania is perhaps on the wain.
For businesses who have jumped en masse onto the social platform and invested in the channel and not really seen any tangible results, this might signal that it’s time to panic! Or alternatively, isn’t it time to consider redistributing resources into other online marketing & communications efforts.
Here are 3 things your business might consider to cope with the possible/probably death of Facebook:
Create Brilliant Business Blog Content
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one of the best ways of connecting with potential clients in the B2B space is to create meaningful online content. Putting a video tutorial on how to get the most out of your product up on Youtube and then embedding it in your business blog is just as useful as Facebook. Sure, Facebook might have been one place to promote it, but there are others. Like Twitter. Like Google Search.
Invest in Video Content
Talking of online video, why not put all that energy and presence you’ve been putting into Facebook into creating more quality content on YouTube. Monitoring your Wall isn’t necessarily particularly effective when you can actually be spending time developing resources that deliver real and meaningful value.YouTube, after all, remains the number two search engine on the planet and there’s practically no better way of helping your customers with their questions about your products than through video. For example, I could find out how to use a new Behringer Compressor / Gate limiter that I’d purchased, despite trawling the Net for hours. A video on YouTube would have enhanced my experience massively.
Start a Podcast
And talking about Behringer audio equipment, a podcast can be an awesome way of again giving your audience quality content. Who cares about idle chit chat on Facebook? “We’re working on this right now” = Snore. “Ask us anything!” = bore.
Interviews with people in your company, say, involved in designing and producing the latest widgets talking about how to get the most out of widget X is worth much more than a bog standard “here’s a picture of Janne” on Facebook. You can even put the picture in your podcast tags if you want.
If you’re a consultant you definitely could be making more out of a podcast than Facebook. For example, why not learn all about dental implants with Dr. Evan.
There’s something personal about listening to someone on an ipod or iphone. The earbuds bring you up close. In many ways, I find this more social than any half-baked comment on a Facebook Wall.
Finally, one of the best ways of coping with the decline of Facebook might be to put more effort into being social offline. Talking one-to-one remains a vital part of B2B in particular. Sure, it’s not easy to meet a large audience as the web allows; however, for many small businesses you only need a few clients each month to do more than well.
Just to play devil’s advocate, you might like to wonder whether all this hyperbole about the benefit of adding social media to your marketing mix might just be convincing you to miss what’s right at the end of your nose. Or to put it another, perhaps online marketing isn’t the right strategy for your business.
The history of the web is littered with web sites that have thrived and wilted:
Friends Reunited, MySpace, Bebo, FriendFeed, etc. Nothing is permanent in cyberspace. Just ask Netscape and Alta Vista.
How do you think businesses will cope with the demise of Facebook?