The Danger of Putting All Your Eggs in the Facebook Marketing Basket

facebook likeDon’t put all of your efforts and budget into marketing on sites like Facebook which you don’t and can’t control.

That’s a piece of advice that I’ve been communicating in my books, lectures, and content for years, and it’s a topic that’s gotten a lot of buzz since Facebook updated its EdgeRank Algorithm. It turns out that marketer’s page posts are only getting a 10-15% view rate. The EdgeRank update also led to a 40% decrease in organic post reach according to research from We Are Social and Socialbakers.

Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm is proprietary, and for good reason. What good is Facebook’s effort to preserve its user experience by delivering the most relevant posts if marketers can game the system? We’ve experienced the same thing with the Google search algorithm. When Google released its Panda and Farmer algorithm changes that penalized low quality content, the marketers that had focused on publishing quality content rather than prioritizing questionable search engine optimization and link-building tactics prevailed.

The problem with investing the majority of your marketing efforts and budget into Facebook (or Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.) is that you don’t control those sites. An algorithm change, a merger, a legal entanglement, or any other external factor that is completely out of your control could shake one of those sites up at any moment. Where will your time, money, and marketing investments be if that happens?

If you’ve ever attended one of my speaking engagements, read one of my books, or read my content published across the web, then you know that I always recommend creating a core branded online destination that you control as the central hub of all of your integrated marketing communications. I recommend a blog because blogs are so search engine friendly, social, and shareable.

Whatever you do to market your business online and offline, all roads should lead back to your blog where you can deepen the conversation and relationships with your audience. From here, brand awareness, brand trial, brand loyalty, and brand advocacy can flourish. If you rely on a destination controlled by another person, company, or entity as your core branded online destination or as the focal point of your marketing efforts, then you run the risk of flourishing today and dying tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong. Facebook is a vital part of most social media marketing plans. However, it’s not the only piece, and it’s not necessarily the best piece. An integrated marketing plan is always the strongest marketing plan. That means you should leverage Facebook for its reach but don’t put all of your eggs in the Facebook marketing basket.

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4 Comments

  1. Stephen Lahey says:

    Such great advice, Susan. As an independent consultant for the past 12 years, and owner of two businesses, I’ve come to value the benefits of having control over my own lists (email) and platforms (websites and blogs). Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus own their platforms and set their own rules.

  2. Susan Gunelius says:

    You’re right, Steve. Don’t rely on someone else to control your data and brand experiences! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Catie Ragusa says:

    Great ideas, Susan! Blogs are such an important asset to to any brand or business. Facebook, Twitter, etc. make it easy to share information and spread the word quickly, but blogs are what people need to see when they get back to your site and are ready to learn more.

    What would you say to someone who seems to be stuck in the Facebook (or another social media site) marketing basket? Thanks!

  4. Susan Gunelius says:

    Catie, I would tell anyone who wants to be stuck in one marketing basket that they’re being too short-sighted and thinking too short-term. The problem of depending entirely on a single marketing channel is the same as it always has been. Would they have put all of their efforts into a single publication for advertising or through direct mail but no other form of marketing? Diversification isn’t just a good idea in investing. It’s a fundamental part of all business. If you put all your eggs into one basket and something happens to that basket one day, you’re going to be in big trouble with no way to get back out. I hope that helps!

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