You read that right. We’ve decided to jump on to the Quit Facebook bandwagon. Like Copyblogger and many others in the industry, we’ve come to the conclusion that our efforts on Facebook are better spent elsewhere.
Pratik, our co-founder, recently asked me to be E2M’s mouthpiece on social media. And the first thing I’m going to do is shut up when nobody’s listening.
We have stopped updating our Facebook page. We aren’t going to delete the account, all the same.
Let me put our reasons behind this decision in a Q&A format, so that you can draw your own inferences.
Did you do the number crunching?
- Of the roughly 650 likes that our Facebook page has got, only 144 came in 2014. Three digit numbers don’t get us excited. Outside of cricket, that is.
- There is almost zero engagement – one or two, if you like – in terms of likes, shares and comments on each of our posts. And the majority of these come from employees or local industry peers who think well of us.
- The bulk of our client base is in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. In December 2014, our posts reached a paltry 35 people in these countries. Put together. Out of those 35 people, fully 0 engaged.
- The highest number of referrals coming from Google.com to our Facebook page in a single day in 2014 was 8. On a daily basis, only 1-2 visits came from sources other than Facebook, including our website.
- If we were measuring how many people arrived on our website from our Facebook page (or posts), it wouldn’t be much. I doubt any of them would be potential clients.
You didn’t try hard enough, lazy bugs!
Perhaps we didn’t. I will give that to you. We were definitely guilty of
- Not sharing much other than our routine content and blog posts
- Not running creative Facebook ads for any serious length of time
- Not posting photos or videos of all the times we’ve had cake fights in our cafeteria or occupied restaurant dance floors till the owners begged us to leave, or even industry events we attended, for that matter
But if we didn’t, we didn’t. My gripe is that Facebook doesn’t give you a chance to start afresh and set right your past shortcomings. If we were to do all of the above starting now, and attempt to engage folks in our industry by way of polls, quizzes, contests or controversy, we wouldn’t get far. It is difficult to drastically improve engagement on Facebook posts without running a series of ad campaigns. We see other digital marketing agencies repeatedly going down that road without much to show for it.
Moreover, the audience we’re looking to target is just not there for the purpose we intend. We want to reach business owners and CMOs with customized content that will be helpful to them in their marketing efforts. We also want to connect with influencers in the digital marketing industry, foster familiarity with them, and attempt to gain acceptance as knowledgeable peers.
However, if these people are on Facebook, it’s only to connect with their family and friends. And if and when they’re looking for marketing-related content, Facebook won’t show it to them. We are unwilling to keep altering our content strategy and structure to suit Facebook’s ever-changing framework.
What will your clients say?
We provide social media services too, including managing Facebook accounts for B2C as well as B2B clients. One might be inclined to think that moving forward, why should a business let us manage their presence on Facebook, when we don’t have one ourselves?
I will answer this question in two parts:
- Every organization has (or should have) a purpose for being on Facebook and expectations (if not ROI) from their efforts. As described earlier, ours aren’t a great fit. Our leads come from other platforms. Our customers and peers hang out elsewhere. Our customers communicate with us by other means. That isn’t necessarily true for you or any other individual or firm. If it can work for our clients, we will make it work.
- A dentist doesn’t need to have their own teeth extracted before they pull out yours.
When Copyblogger killed their Facebook page (we’re only putting ours in induced coma), there were differing viewpoints disputing the logic of their decision. However, Brian Clark nicely summed up the eventual outcome:
What could have been?
We did look into what else we could do with our Facebook page. We’re not totally heartless, you know.
We considered using Facebook for hiring (which, by the way, we’re always doing). If that was our goal, we’d have a large potential audience out here in our neighbourhood, which actively uses Facebook, and which we could easily and effectively engage. However, as I said before, we’d need to post photos, videos and write-ups of company events and the like for that, and we don’t want to go down that lane. We don’t want to replace brand messaging with company messaging.
We also pondered the possibility of offering learning resources exclusive to Facebook. For instance, we could do our own version of Whiteboard Friday on Facebook, now that more brands are uploading videos to Facebook as opposed to YouTube. However, at the moment, we don’t have the requisite manpower for preparing tutorials or shooting and editing videos. Our beloved Eagle languishes for want of time and resources.
Finally, we asked ourselves if it was worth the while to identify and interact with whatever few “experts” and “influencers” who remain active on Facebook (Jon Loomer is one). However, it immediately became apparent that Facebook is the lifeline of their business, whereas ours is more dependent on SEO and content marketing.
We take heart from the hope that what could have been could always be in future, Zuckerberg willing.
So now that you’re saving time, what are you going to do with it?
We are definitely going to be more active on Twitter. We’re also going to see if we can add meaningfully to the conversation on a Google+ hangout or two.
See you there!