Facebook has been in the news a lot lately over their issues with privacy and data being compromised. Here in our area many have noticed that people are not using Facebook as much. It is as if it is no longer fun for them. However, it is what their friends are posting that they take issue with. From what I am told by users the turn offs are politics, life drama’s, spam, trolls and people sharing cryptic posts.
So, let’s discuss Facebook and how it is a tool. A tool for what you ask? Communicating. Communicating what you ask? If you want to be effective using this tool, you should share what you think others would find interesting, useful, helpful information. You must know who you are talking to. Everybody has a diverse audience made up of friends, family, business associates and people they may not know at all but you have many friends in common. Some use it for business and business networking and this adds a whole different dimension to Facebook. Then you add videos, ads, pictures, people asking all sorts of questions and what you have is a world all unto its own.
Facebook has built in ways in which you can determine what you see but they down side is they do tell you about it. They have built in ways you can protect your privacy but then they have ways in which that data was mined. They have ways you can determine what ads you see but they do not tell you about it.
Facebook recently polled me about their privacy policies and how clear they are. Can you guess what I told them? The same thing you would of, they are not clear at all. Their customer service is nonexistent, their algorithm is far from accurate and this latest one is perhaps the less accurate of them all.
We all remember hurricane Irma. Facebook was a huge in getting information out to those with out power, water etc. It was great for telling people where they could find gas, ice, and food. People could communicate their needs, tell their families out of state of their status. Groups were even created to provide accurate information. Those who lived here during hurricane Charlie will recall what going through that was like without Facebook.
Facebook in general is underutilized as a communication tool. People are not using it effectively and many seem to be using it as a platform to express their opinions on how others should be living, thinking, what they should or should not like or do and even what they should believe. While expressing one’s opinion is not a bad thing and could be a good thing, many times it becomes an ugly thing. It sure seems that Facebook reflects our society at large.
Facebook is also a powerful marketing tool that has helped many locally owned small businesses market and advertise in an affordable manner. While Facebook marketing is a subject all unto its own, I mention it here because it is under utilized by businesses. If you are a business owner and you are not using Facebook to become known, not using their ads to reach new potential consumers, not using it for customer service, then you are leaving money on the table.
Facebook polled me recently and asked if I thought they cared about small business. My answer was, to a point. They must balance the needs of small business with the needs of the end user. This is something they can get much better at. That and customer service. They do not have a handle on their users and what their needs are.
Facebook does have its short comings and yes, they certainly can be doing things better but for businesses, business owners and professionals is it a tool that needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. For users who do not need it for business, it remains a great way to stay in contact with family and friends as well as have access to news, information, products, services, and events happening in your home town.
So, there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly of using Facebook. I have personally experienced Facebook doing things I do not agree with or even like. I personally have experienced them making mistakes and barely getting an apology. There are days I experience the same frustrations as you. How Facebook handles their current struggles and how good they become at what they do will determine how relevant they remain.