Facebook is holding us hostage - cat behind a gate

Photo by Toni Tan from Pexels

I was talking to a colleague last week and she said something that hit home – “We are all hostages of Facebook.”

We laughed about it…then I started to really think about what she said and how we had led up to that conversation.

A bit of backstory…
If you haven’t heard – Facebook is going through some major growing pains as a result of Apple’s change to their new iOS 14 update. Apple will be asking for people to approve tracking on their phones or opt-out of it. Past experiences with the GDPR and recent history in the US, told me that most people were going to opt-out of the tracking versus opt-in. This has now been proven to be correct with only a couple of weeks of data. 96% of people have opted OUT of tracking.

I can get into the pros and cons of this, but for the moment, let’s take it at face value. Since it seems that most people will opt-out of the tracking, this is going to potentially hurt a lot of businesses using Facebook’s ad platform. Their ads won’t be as targeted and therefore, not as efficient.

So, Facebook has been basically developing some workaround options for businesses. (If you haven’t already, and you have a pixel for tracking on your site – check out this article in their business help center to get your site and your Facebook page set up for this new normal.) These workarounds are going to be helpful and will in some part ease the sting of less tracking – but then there is a question that begs to be answered…

Are we really hostages of Facebook?

Do we really depend so much on this one platform that we don’t have other alternatives to roll with the punches of change that are coming our way? For many businesses, the answer is a resounding YES.

And that my friends, is why it’s time to diversify.

How to Decide Your Next Platform

I have always believed that if you are going to be on only one platform, then you should be on Facebook due to the power of their ad machine. But now that their ad machine is going to be (potentially) less effective, it is time to really think about where your brand belongs and what you need from your digital media presence.

Here you can review your Power 5 and really think about your niche – who is your ideal audience?

If you haven’t gone through the process of determining your niche, then take a moment and check out our blog to help you determine exactly that.  Once you have identified who it is that you want to appeal to, then it’s time to start making some decisions.

Where is Your Niche?

Demographics and focus have continuously changed so here are a quick rundown of the different platforms’ base demographics*. This is a place to start but in no way is the information below the only guidelines for choosing your social media platform of choice.
(*Demographic information curated from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-demographics/, Statista, Oberlo, and https://khoros.com/resources/social-media-demographics-guide.)

Facebook – Everyone’s place to check in on one another
Sources: Hootsuite Blog & Khoros

VENTUREWRIT blog post on Social Media for Small Businesses

Instagram – The Visual Sharing Platform
Sources: Hootsuite Blog & Khoros

  • 51% of all Instagram users are female.
  • One-third of Instagram’s users are aged 25 to 34.
  • Instagram is also popular among younger users. Instagram is the most-used social media platform among American teenagers.
  • 44% of households with an annual income of less than $30,000 use Instagram
  • 45% of households with an annual income between $30k-$60k use Instagram
  • 36% of households with an annual income between $60k-$70k use Instagram
  • 55% of households with an annual income between $70k-$80k use Instagram
  • 46% of households with an annual income between $80k-$100k use Instagram
  • 60% of households with an annual income above $100,000 use Instagram
  • Users spend an average of 53 minutes a day on Instagram

LinkedIn – Business Focused, Going back to a Career Focus
Sources: Hootsuite Blog & Khoros

Pinterest demographics for small businessesPinterest – The Visual Search Platform
Sources: Hootsuite Blog, Oberlo & Khoros

TikTok – The Current Hot Ticket
Source: Hootsuite Blog

Twitter – The News and Sharing Platform for Strangers who want to connect
Source: Khoros & Hootsuite Blog

  • 28.9% of Twitter users worldwide are between the ages of 24 and 34. And 57.1% of Twitter users worldwide are aged 25 to 49.
  • There are differing stats out there on gender use. Some stats show that Twitter users are split 50/50 male and female, other sites have stated it’s 70% men to 30% women. More stats state that there is a larger male user base than females.
  • 41% of households with an annual income above $75,000 use Twitter

YouTube – The Video Platform for Information and Entertainment
The stats here are very interesting. All ages and all income levels use YouTube. This is a unique site in its user base.
Source: Khoros

  • 81% of people ages 15-25 use YouTube
  • 71% of people ages 26-35 use YouTube
  • 67% of people ages 36-45 use YouTube
  • 66% of people ages 46-55 use YouTube
  • 58% of people that are 56+ years old use YouTube
  • 83% of households with an annual income of less than $30,000 use YouTube
  • 81% of households with an annual income between $30k-$60k use YouTube
  • 80% of households with an annual income between $60k-$70k use YouTube
  • 80% of YouTube users have an annual income between $70k-$80k use YouTube
  • 82% of households with annual income between $80k-$100k use YouTube
  • 89% of households with an annual income above $100,000 use YouTube

Snapchat – Quick bites of content, Maybe on the way out…but I thought the same thing about Twitter 4 years ago.
Source: Khoros

  • 53% of people ages 15-25 use Snapchat
  • 34% of people ages 26-35 use Snapchat
  • 61% of Snapchat users are female
  • 38% of Snapchat users are male
  • 42% of households with an annual income between $70k-$80k use Snapchat

What Type of Content can You Create Consistently?

Besides demographic – this is an extremely important question to answer. Why? Because each algorithm needs to be fed at different amounts and times to deliver the ideal content to their demographics.
Here is an overview of the different types of content you can create:

  • Video Blogs – “Vlogs”
  • Written Blogs
  • Short videos in real-time
  • Short highlight videos
  • Long-form videos (5 plus minutes)
  • Branded Images
  • Infographics
  • Slide Decks
  • Podcasts
  • Organic content – images from on the job or in the moment photos
  • Quick bursts of information in short concise sentences (Tweets)

This list in no way encompasses EVERY type of content that you can create, but it is a good starting point. The key here is to determine what content you can create consistently, and ensure that it is of good quality. Quality is always more important than quantity no matter what platform you are going to post on.

Where do I post my now created good quality content?

This depends on the content and deserves a post all on its own. In the meantime – test the content on the platform where you have located your niche. Then measure your engagement. The higher the engagement, the better the content for that platform.

Do you need help with your strategy or are you trying to figure out next steps with the social media for your small business? Send us a message or post a question here.

Until next time friends – continue to raise your voices on social media and you will find your raving fans.