Dear companies, delete your Facebook page

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Let’s start with a quick quiz: Does your brand’s Facebook page regularly publish posts that generate almost no engagement? Do you sometimes wonder if your target audience sees your posts on Facebook? Do posts on other social platforms perform considerably better than the same ones on FB?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should delete your Facebook page.

The conventional wisdom is that every business should be on Facebook, sharing content, and connecting with customers. But conventional wisdom is wrong.

Let’s start by going back to ten years ago. LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” is the best song in the country. The plank is a popular meme. And businesses of all shapes and sizes are scrambling to log on to Facebook and start posting killer content. Believe me, I was there and the message was inescapable. Facebook can do it all: connect with current and potential consumers, run viral promotions, improve SEO. Why, you could hardly afford to not be on Facebook.

But times have changed, memes have improved, and Facebook isn’t the platform it used to be.

This is most evident with organic reach, which Facebook defines as “the number of people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page”. Reach started dropping in 2012 when Facebook slashed the levels roughly to around 16%, meaning if your page had 100 fans, only 16 of them saw your Harlem Shake video. And by 2014, that number had fallen to 6%, according to Ogilvy’s analysis at the time.

Much has been written about the decline in organic reach, and the consensus is that paid posts are just how the game is played, especially when trying to build an audience on the platform. But that just leads to a bigger question: Are Facebook users really an important audience for you? You can certainly respond by saying, “Everyone in my target audience is on Facebook, so yes,” but are the hypothetical users you have in mind really there to engage with your brand’s content?

I could cite different reports detailing the changing demographics and trends of Facebook users, but I suspect your own personal experience on the platform offers a more compelling case. When was the last time you liked a brand page? When was the last time you engaged with the brand’s posts? When was the last time you invited your friends to like a page?

So many of us prepare daily posts that only get a few reactions (literally – five or less) and no comments or clicks.

Related: Multiply Your Marketing Using Facebook Live

But what about all the brands that are killing it on Facebook? Hey, I never said Facebook couldn’t work for someone else. I said it probably doesn’t work for you. Specifically, I would say your business still needs a Facebook page if:

  • You see a positive return on investment from your presence on Facebook (paid or organic). If Facebook is still at the top of your list of traffic sources to your website or is responsible for conversions, ignore this advice. It’s not for you.

  • Your target market is regularly on Facebook and engages there with content. This is true for many local businesses (think restaurants, bars, spas, and resorts) and media companies.

  • You have a lot of positive reviews on Facebook. I would never suggest removing a channel that gives you social proof.

  • Potential customers contact via Facebook Messenger. You want to meet your customers where they are. If they like to get answers in the chat, then Facebook!

Read this list again and be honest: Do these bullets describe your business?

Your business absolutely does not need a Facebook page if:

  • There is no identifiable link between Facebook activity and website or landing page traffic and conversions.

  • The plurality of comments and opinions you receive on the posts are irrelevant or negative.

  • Managing Facebook takes time and effort away from running more productive channels.

  • The only person left with Facebook admin privileges left the company eight months ago, and you haven’t noticed any changes in your digital marketing KPIs.

If any of these bullets hit the mark, then you are a prime candidate to “remove Facebook as soon as possible”. But maybe you are still not convinced. Here’s an example of why keeping your current account is riskier than deleting it entirely, and how you can shift your social efforts to a more efficient platform.

Related: 5 Components Of A Facebook Campaign That Can Make The Difference Between New Customers And Missed Sales

So here is the risk angle in two parts. First of all, it’s a bad look to have a business Facebook page that appears to be a ghost town, with the aforementioned five posts looking like boarded up brothels. It’s probably best that your audience doesn’t see a post like this because it’s embarrassing, like a vacation post on Instagram that only your family heart loves. And if you’re the person managing that account, it’s only a matter of time before a senior executive of yours says, “Hey, what’s going on with Facebook? Or an enthusiastic corporate climber below you says, “Hey, I think I could do a better job running our social media.”

And here’s the hunter (or the risk, part 2): Ghost town accounts can suddenly come to life as a result of a cycle of negative news. If Facebook is an afterthought for you, then you had better be prepared to bring it to the forefront the minute the New York Times or Politico article you dreaded finally falls. Maybe your CEO made a misguided political comment? A foreign investment ending in scandal? If so, I hope you have a good on-call community manager who is ready to respond to outraged Facebook users who suddenly find their way to your latest “Happy July 4th from our family to yours” post. .

Here are a few things you can do after you’ve finally pulled the blinds on Facebook:

  • Focus on the ‘Gram. Instagram isn’t suitable for all brands, but if your posts are primarily visual, you’ll find that almost all of the benefits of Facebook can be found on Instagram.

  • Focus on Twitter. Twitter isn’t for all brands either, but if you’re trying to stand out in your industry or grab the attention of journalists, then it’s a great place to get noticed and start building relationships.

  • Focus on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is my second home. It’s not just a public resume. Many claim to hate it, but it’s the best platform – bar none – to reach decision-makers in corporate positions. In that sense, it’s the exact opposite of Facebook.

  • Give, don’t close, your Facebook. Maybe this article has convinced you that your potential customers don’t engage on Facebook, but maybe your potential employees are. So maybe it’s time for your team to give up control of this platform and hand over the keys to your talent acquisition colleagues.

Related: How To Turn Your Brand’s Facebook Into A Marketing Gold Mine

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