OK, so I'm not dramatically deleting my profile and declaring Facebook dead (everyone loves declaring a marketing channel dead now and then).
Facebook is still very much alive. It's just not quite the right marketing tool for my business. Right now.
Do what's right for you and your audience.
I can't stress how important it is to do what suits you and those you want to reach. Facebook is changing - in fact social media is pretty much an ever-moving beast - and the way in which Facebook is being used by businesses, certainly by businesses like mine, is changing.
For many, Facebook is still one of the best places to be for many businesses. If you're a local coffee or deli shop for example, or somebody who runs wellness classes nearby, Facebook is a brilliant platform to use - it's targeted, you can set up events, you have tons of information available to hand on your page etc. For service-based businesses, there's now opportunities to grow genuine engaged communities through groups.
Use it well and it will serve you well.
Being brave, as well as balancing and biding my time.
Marketers have long since talked about what value you deliver to your audience. It sounds like the usual marketing 'blah, blah, blah' but it is true actually. If you're not delivering anything of value then you're wasting your efforts and time is too precious for that.
The truth is, much of the value that my audience gets from businesses on Facebook is through Facebook groups. And right now, I don't have a Facebook group, nor do I have the time to invest in growing and feeding (with content and useful information, not tea and biscuits unfortunately) one.
I've got to be realistic with the time I have available to put into my marketing as well as supporting my clients; that's a big lesson any business owner needs to learn.
You know the saying, if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing properly? Well sometimes, we have to say no to opportunities right now if we can't make the most of them. For now, it's about saying no to Facebook so that I can concentrate on other areas which are delivering.
I will however, be keeping my eye on things and be very active as a 'participant'...
Fantastic Facebook Communities.
Facebook has managed to do for business what LinkedIn hasn't when it comes to groups; grow communities within which people share ideas, talk, ask opinions and support one another. It's a very natural, and dare I say 'organic' (marketing buzzword), way to grow an audience and (carefully, may I add) deliver lots of good stuff to demonstrate worth. It's mostly user-generated stuff once it's off and running, so the input does decrease eventually, while the value to your audience increases - a brilliant tool to have in your marketing toolbox.
Side note here that I warn anybody who joins Facebook groups which are designed to be a system of support for one another, only to unashamedly plug themselves and what they do - please DO NOT do it. It feels 'icky' and you'll get so much more out of it if you just listen and contribute when you can genuinely offer something of value without any expectation of business in return.
In fact, I mostly only use Facebook now for the groups I'm in where I receive tons of professional advice, support and research, so that's why I'm not quitting Facebook entirely. That, and as I say, it's still a great channel for many of my clients and target audience.
Here's three tips for you when it comes to choosing social media platforms:
Don't be led by the channel with the biggest audience - select the channel which best reaches your audience and understand what they get out of that channel.
Don't use every and all social channels going, throwing out the same content across each platform - they're not built the same way and people don't respond in the same way, so don't try to use them in the same way.
Think about what kind of content you realistically have time to write, send out and monitor via your chosen social media channels - don't overstretch yourself. It's better to do a great job on one platform, rather than average job on a few.