Back in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the United States Senate to clarify rumors, speculation, and fears of election tampering. Back then, the issue surrounded the fact that millions of Facebook users’ data had been shared with a data analytics firm working with former president Trump’s campaign. In his testimony, the Zuck apologized and explained that in his view, his company, “Didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility.”
Over the course of his testimony, congress and the senate grilled him on questions of user security as well as diversity, drug sales, and identifying just what kind of company Facebook really is.
Fast forward a few years. Issues of Facebook security are still in question. The world has gotten to know the name Frances Haugen, as she brings to light more questionable actions and damning evidence suggesting unsettling algorithms and overall bad news burying behavior by the reigning CEO.
Is Facebook Breaking Up with Us?
It’s been attempted, though certainly not by Facebook themselves. More than a few congresspeople and government leaders (perhaps most notably Senator Elizabeth Warren) have been calling for the break-up of Facebook’s monopolization over social media. It would call for (among other things) government oversight and regulations as well as reversing the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram.
It’s important to look at this from a business perspective as well as a user experience mind. Recent whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen explained to congress that she things splitting up the companies would further exacerbate the current problems. She says that, if split up, Instagram would make much more money and see much better traffic than Facebook, requiring Facebook to invest more in competition with Instagram and less on regulating algorithm manipulation and false content.
What Can (or Should) Businesses Do?
Many businesses across the globe felt the pain of the recent blackout on October 5th. Small businesses and companies that rely on ads, communication, and networking through the three platforms were hardest hit. Though Facebook does not directly charge for ads, instead setting prices based on impressions or conversions, the lost revenue reflects in potential sales.
Advertisers complain that Facebook should be more transparent with how things operate on the backend of their platform. Though, if past congressional testimony is any gauge, it might be some time until this comes to pass. So, what should businesses do in the meantime?
Online content–no matter the platform–has become more divisive over the last few years. Instead of feeding into false claims and picking battles, keep your online presence positive and promotional.
Check Your Facts
Along with negativity, promoting false, harmful, or combative content is (unfortunately) quite simple these days. Use your content wisely, investigate links and articles for accuracy before sharing, and don’t be afraid to remove something you think might not be accurate to your brand or values.
Perhaps the #1 request of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users today is clear, direct transparency. Wherever possible, promote your business in ways that invite your followers in the inner workings of your company. Be vulnerable. Promote posts about your team and staff. Your followers and potential customers will love the openness.
At the end of the day, no one said that your business MUST be on every social platform available. Depending on your industry, some work much better than others and some are ill-suited as promotional strategies. If you’re still not sure how to move forward with an online presence that is best for your business, you can always contact the BadCat team. We’ll work with you and your business to set you on the right path.