After the widespread cry of the Facebook Outage of October 4th, 2021, and as dust is yet to settle about the matter, it is high time brands reflected on the implications of the incident on their business, had it persisted for a month.
Evolution of Facebook Platform
The numerical evolution of Facebook has been on a steady rise since its creation in 2004, and has made the platform not only become the world’s largest social network but has evolved into the greatest marketing platform on earth, observers say. It is rapidly adapting its systems to accommodate and encompass multiple marketing tools that most marketers need to transact their businesses online.
Facebook has evolved from 482 million active monthly users in 2010 to 2.9 billion in 2021, passing from 1.49 earlier in 2015.
With these figures, it is probable that no matter the business you operate or the service you render, you are probably in reach of your potential customers via Facebook Inc. services.
Here, I am thinking about musicians, bloggers, e-commerce operators, public figures, relationship councilors, NGO and nonprofit owners, Digital product platforms, business owners who operate online, anyone with a large social media following, etc.
The Strength of Facebook
Facebook is even particularly powerful because of two factors: Social graph and reach.
Facebook Social Graph
With its social graph, Facebook is able to gain a deeper understanding of our social network of friends around the world and how we interact with one another.
Whether it’s announcing the birth of a child, uploading a photo, watching a video, how often we’re served a specific kind of content or ad unit, how we respond to them and to advertisers, kind of posts we interact with, videos we watch, what we ignore, and a wide array of other actions we take, Facebook has all of these insights, and it is developing strong products around that information.
The social graph is the key to understanding human nature, and now that Facebook is using those data, it is able to create advertising products like no other social platform. It becomes even more interesting when all these are integrated into its other platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, which are equally among the largest social networks.
Another advantage of Facebook is its ability to reach a wider audience or people. Marketers no longer have to wait for major events that happen once per year, like the university games, national day celebrations, to run a series of commercials to reach a large audience, or even to reach the audience through traditional advertising platforms like radio, TV.
According to Datareportal (July 2021), over 1.9 billion people log in to Facebook every single day. With Facebook, marketers can accurately pinpoint their target audiences, a lot better than on TV or any other marketing platform. The reach, accuracy, return on investment, and ability to tie in likes and comments make ads on Facebook much more effective than other marketing mediums.
With these, it becomes obvious that there was an outcry when we witnessed the over six hours outage a few days ago.
Facebook as an Independent Marketing Platform
With all the figures and strength that Facebook possesses, can one conclude that it is or can be an independent marketing platform?
The ideal answer is a big “NO!”
You may want to call this controversy, but let us examine further before you draw your curtains.
Facebook influencers have no control over their audience, neither do they have any database of them. Facebook decides which of your posts and when to show it to your audience.
In fact, “the average reach of an organic post on a Facebook Page hovers around 5.2%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content.” — reports Hootsuite, August 2021.
What Lesson on the Outage for your Brand?
It becomes probable that the fans you call yours, the comments you call yours, the post shares you call yours, the video views you call yours, are mere numbers, and as a piece of jewelry placed in a glasshouse, looks attractive enough for you to grab, but obstructed by the glass separating you.
There is an old adage, “what will it profit a man to gain the whole world and loses its soul?” Likewise, what will it profit you to record a million video views without concrete conversion like getting email addresses, phone numbers, or even making sales?
If your account were disabled today, would you still have that influence, or continue the business? If your answer is affirmative, then this post was never intended for you.
I do not want to emphasize here the number of social media account issues we get daily. It is either someone has lost their YouTube channel (erroneous deletion), Facebook page suspended, blocked from going live, poor reach in organic content, etc. Yes, this is because it belongs to you but you do not have any supreme control over it.
What You have to do Going Forward
Well, to hit the point, here is what you have to know going forward. To boast of successful audience size in the digital marketing ecosystem, you must possess real-time data that you call yours. This data include: names, phone numbers, and email addresses. I include a phone number because it is adaptable to African marketing realities.
My team can help you do that. Contact Us.
Who Should Create and Own User Data?
This is a good question. It will be necessary to remark that not everyone on Facebook needs to create a database for their audience. Millions and millions of users will have nothing to lose should Facebook pull down today. But as a business builder, a database is imperative:
- If you are a blogger, you need an email list
- If you are a musician, you need an email list
- If you operate an e-commerce store, you need an email list
- If you are a promoter of an NGO, you need an email list
- If you are a relationship counselor, you need an email list
- if you are a comedian, you need an email list
- If you are a public figure, you need an email list
- if you promote any business online, you need an email list.
But you may not need an email list if your online activism or business is just for pleasure, and not profitability motivated, which is far from being a reality.
How to Grab Prospects Data?
Data is collected through lead capture pitches, launched via advertisement channels, one of which is Facebook.
You do this through value proposition content, in exchange for personal information where you can later reach out to them occasionally to deliver them more useful information about their daily challenges and keep proposing your value to them.
Website landing pages are the best way to achieve this.
This brings us to the core digital marketing element you need right now — a website. Unless you didn’t know, a website is a powerhouse, a carrefour for all your online marketing efforts.
Every campaign you launch should be geared at directing people to your website landing pages. The landing page is the page you sell your value proposition to your prospects. From here, you get the information you want from them, and walk them through a sales funnel so they can eventually buy, and even become your brand ambassadors.
Facebook posts can then be tailored to advocate brand awareness campaigns, consideration phase campaigns, and Sales/testimonials campaigns. it is necessary that most of the content you publish on your social media platforms should have a link directing users to your website.
Your website is, therefore, your VIP room, quiet, calm, solemn, with oozing fragrance and comfort that gives you the opportunity to carefully lay down your value proposition to the prospect on a one-on-one basis, void of distractive notifications here and there.
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