BLOG
Death to Facebook

True confessions? If an electromagnetic surge flooded the earth, rendering our computers and phones useless, I would feel a deep wave of relief knowing I never had to look at Facebook again. I hate that inane blue-squared “F” with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

tenor.gif

Of course, I’m not against apps in general. There are plenty of things I’m thrilled to never do again—like read maps or carry cash or listen to the radio. And, there are a lot of savvy social media platforms delivering smart and intuitive content in engaging ways.

But Facebook? Slap me with a tearful emoji and call me done, my digital friends.

Recently, I got to wondering if it’s more than just me, some fellow millennials and the whole of Generation Z feeling fed up with The Facebook. A quick search on the internet offers plenty of declarations that Facebook is indeed dead.

But scrolling through all of those opinions reminded me of the hyperbolic statements we’ve been hearing for so long about print.

With 13% growth in the last year alone, Facebook is definitely not dead. The bottom line is that there is no social media machine more powerful for generating organic impressions for your brand.

Yes, the rules for advertising keep changing, but any responsible communication plan needs to involve conversation about how your brand is showing up on Facebook.

Despite my hatred for that little blue square, it’s a topic we regularly engage in our office, and it is here to stay.

giphy.gif

However, the question we do all need to be asking is this: What is Facebook really for?

Users are now approaching Facebook differently, and any brand that wants to build a healthy relationship with its patrons needs to respect those users’ priorities and objectives on a social media platform.

While you can use Facebook to visit a friend’s profile for a life update, the Newsfeed is by far the most common way to engage this platform. Over the years, your Newsfeed has transformed into a different kind of content source than it used to be. Now, in addition to pictures of your college friends’ kids and puppies, your Newsfeed serves up a curated compilation of MTV, news (real or otherwise) and your favorite gossip magazine—complete with personality quizzes, recipes and life hacks. The most engaging content on Facebook for 2017? Music videos. Followed by news articles, quizzes and cute animal videos.

What I am trying to say is this: Facebook isn’t about you and your friends anymore. Not really. Mostly, it’s about content that someone you know shared and that Facebook algorithms think you might click on. And while 45% of Americans utilize Facebook as a source for their news, only 5% of Americans are willing to trust the news content shared on Facebook.

It seems this platform, in particular, breeds skepticism and tribal thinking, and it fits in the same kind category as the things you reach for when you are killing time in the grocery line (oh wait, that was before Shipt).

So is that platform useful? Sure. But we have to be smart about the kinds of content served up and the kinds of messages that suit users in that frame of mind. And that’s where Next comes in. If you’re wondering about Facebook for your brand, and how you can use it more effectively, stop by our office. We’d love to grab beer and get a little bit social with you.


Katy Johnson