Both Facebook and Twitter have been prominent in the news this week. Both their stocks have fallen and they’ve lost users. Which begs the question — Should I even bother with social media?
I woke up Thursday morning to hear Glenn Beck talking about why Facebook made history this week when their stock lost $120 billion in market share — the largest single-day loss for a U.S. company. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal portfolio decreased by $16 billion. Some are calling for his resignation as CEO of Facebook.
Over on Fox Business, on “Mornings with Maria” they asked, “Facebook and Twitter take beating: Is this the end of the social media era?”
Facebook’s Q2 report is what caused the stock drop. Though membership in the quarter grew, that growth was only in “Asia-Pacific” and the “Rest of the World” regions. In Europe, U.S. and Canada, it’s been stagnant. This graphic shows the Daily Active Users. They still are the largest network with 1.47 Billion users logging on daily.
Meanwhile, Over at Twitter….
President Trump accused Twitter of “Shadow Banning”:
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
What is Shadow Banning?
“…deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster.”
And, of course, they claim that they don’t “shadow ban” with this explanation:
As a specific example, if a search result has 30,000 tweets, here’s what we take into consideration when ranking:
- Tweets from people you’re interested in should be ranked highly
- Tweets that are popular are likely to be interesting and should be higher ranked
- Tweets from bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or divide the conversation should be ranked lower
How do they determine who are “bad-faith” actors?
Specific account properties that indicate authenticity (e.g. whether you have a confirmed email address, how recently your account was created, whether you uploaded a profile image, etc)
What actions you take on Twitter (e.g. who you follow, who you retweet, etc)
How other accounts interact with you (e.g. who mutes you, who follows you, who retweets you, who blocks you, etc)
At the same time, Twitter is working hard to identify and delete these “bad-faith” accounts. Legit users who have purchased Twitter followers in the past are going to find soon that their follower count has diminished greatly if not altogether gone.
Meanwhile, Twitter shares declined 19% – their biggest drop since Oct. 2016. But…
In terms of daily users, Twitter reported an 11% increase, its seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth on this front.
Where Facebook is losing (or not gaining) real users, Twitter’s faithful users are still there.
Should you quit Facebook and Twitter?
First, when you think about it, it’s not very fair of Facebook to ask you to spend money boosting a post to make sure that YOUR FANS see it. Moreover, this shows that Facebook’s in the game to make money. If you’ve got the advertising budget, go for it.
However, that’s not a wise choice. Here’s an option. If you have a decent fan base on Facebook and most of them are on your email list, send them an email explaining that with the Facebook algorithm change, if they want make sure they don’t miss your posts, they need to go to your page, click on “Follow” and select “See First”. That way they’ll see your post first on their feeds.
Another option is to direct your fans to a Facebook Group. All members of the group will be notified when a new item is posted. Again contact them via email to insure that the majority of people will get the message.
If you’re just starting out on Facebook, you may have a problem growing a following. In that case, you have other choices:
For B2C, Pinterest and Instagram taking advantage of visuals — graphics and videos. Twitter is important here also for finding influencers. For instance, if you want to reach mom bloggers, they’re very active on Twitter.
Good Strategy and Tactics to see what Works
If you’re just starting out or haven’t been blogging or posting on social media for a while, dedicate some time (sweat equity) for 30 days. For the first week, blog daily and share your blog posts in all the networks. Before you start…
- Install the free plugin, JetPack if on a WordPress site. Go to “Settings” in the left menu then “Sharing”. Connect all you accounts. As soon as you publish a blog post, it will automatically share it to your social networks. If you don’t have WordPress website, you have to use HootSuite, Dlvr.it or some other 3rd party auto-posting tool. Your site must have an RSS feed set up properly for these tools to work. Burn your feed on Feedburner.
- If on WordPress, JetPack also offers simple sites stats that tell you how many visitors you had and, most importantly, where they came from. If not on WordPress, you’ll need Google Analytics and the Google Search Console set.
- Plan out your content. Take seasons and holidays into consideration.
Besides blogging daily, you’ll want to spend 90 minutes a day on the social networks you deem are where your target market is and/or you’re getting good referral sources to build a following.
Finally, at the end of the month — and every month — check your analytics, site stats and insights.
- Which networks brought in the most visitors?
- Which blog articles were the most popular?
- Did your traffic increase week-to-week?
So, if month after month you’re seeing the traffic from Facebook or any of the social networks decline, spend less time there. Focus your time on the networks that:
- Are driving significant traffic to your website
- Where you’re building valuable relationships
- Where you’re building a solid following
As for me, I unfortunately have to be on Facebook to manage client accounts. However, I am cutting back on personal time spent there. I will continue sharing, but on my business page, I posted if people want to make sure they see my shared posts on online marketing, follow me on LinkedIn. You can follow me without connecting to me. To follow someone without connecting, go to their profile and click on “More”, then “Follow”.