AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Businesses Bailing The ‘Book

Posted by zachthebernstein on May 29, 2013

We’ve all just finished doing our social media monitoring assignments, and one thing I would guess all our companies/organizations/whatever have in common is that they use Facebook.  Using social media is an important way to reach out to more people, but also probably to show potential customers that you’re living in the 21st century.  So this article, about business owners joining teenagers in their Facebook-related angst, was an interesting read.  It details a couple of small businesses which are taking a very down view on Facebook – in one case, bailing completely:

Bethany Gonzalez Moreno, founder of B. EcoChic, a green parenting website, says that the company still has a Facebook page, “but we’ve found that it has nowhere near the impact an old-fashioned email newsletter has. We’ve found we have much better engagement with readers through email and through our website. We’re keeping our page up, but we only update it occasionally with major news and have not spent a lot of time trying to build a large presence. I think the time is better spent getting great content up on our website.”

Gregory Ciotti, Marketing Strategist at IT support software company Help Scout, has an even more pessimistic position, saying, “We recently left Facebook completely and no longer directly incorporate it into our marketing efforts, the reason being is that our Facebook page was returning abysmal results and became a complete waste of time. In contrast, our newsletter, LinkedIn sharing, and Twitter profile were sending in much more traffic with no need to “boost” status updates to fans and followers that we already earned.”

Granted, this is only two pieces of purely anecdotal evidence, as the author notes, and the advantages of using Facebook probably still outweigh the negatives for a lot of businesses.  Still, with all this negative buzz surrounding Facebook and how utterly disinterested users seem to be in it, it’s reasonable to ask: Is Facebook going to go the way of MySpace?  Who’s thinking of shutting down their account?

-Zach Bernstein

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One Response to “Businesses Bailing The ‘Book”

  1. hlg123 said

    Thanks for starting this discussion, Zach. I think it’s interesting (and increasingly important) for businesses to differentiate between social media platforms and how best to reach their target audiences on these platforms. While doing research for our social media monitoring assignment this week, I found some recent findings from The Pew Research Center on the “Coming and Going on Facebook,” particularly relevant: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Coming-and-going-on-facebook.aspx.

    Pew’s data indicates that 67 percent of adult Internet users in the U.S. are Facebook users. However, as your post indicates, it’s not just about how many people are on a platform, or even the demographics of those users, but rather how these platforms are used that should be of utmost concern for businesses on Facebook.

    I find that as social media has grown in popularity and diversified, the way I use each platform has also changed. Twitter is now my primary source for news, while I use Pinterest for shopping inspiration, and Facebook remains my personal network to stay connected with friends and the occasional tech-savvy relative. When I see businesses with a heavy Facebook presence, I often wonder who actually benefits from Facebook advertising? Granted, corporate Goliaths like Coca-Cola seem to have mastered the platform, but I’ve noticed a shift in how these platforms are perceived and utilized by users. As social media continues to diversify and become more specialized, business strategies on these platforms should as well. Perhaps it’s no longer about how many users you can reach, but how many you can reach in the right way, on the right space?

    -Hannah Griffin

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