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Do you still trust Facebook?

There are many reasons why you wouldn’t.

Maybe you broke up with the brand after the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Maybe you saw the recent New York Times story outlining how Facebook unethically shared user data and private messages with other tech giants like Yahoo! and Netflix.

Maybe you suspect it’s impossible for the platform to effectively police propaganda and political speech without rampant errors, bias and gaffes that will punish minority populations and promote toxic content.

Or maybe it’s just the company’s foundational business model that turns you off: “you” as the product – with sophisticated algorithmic manipulation of what you see and how you feel pervading every second of your time on the platform.

But that’s just on the personal side.

For brands, it must be different, right?

Most brands have existing Facebook communities and long timelines full of content and comments and you have that entirely reasonable rationale to keep using it. It’s already there. It’s built. And of course Facebook remains a massive destination for people all over the world. Whatever its faults, it’s still where (most of) the people are.

But consider this.

Gen Z is not adopting Facebook at the levels of other social platforms. It’s just not cool. Many in this generation see the platform as the provence of their parents. That’s millions of consumers that are rejecting a social networking platform they see as designed for and increasingly populated by oldsters.

Making a short term bet on Facebook groups makes sense. We do it all the time with our clients. And it makes sense in many cases. We’ve gotten excellent results there and expect we’ll continue to do so.

But for newer or developing brands, the ones without sunk costs in Facebook, the real question might be: if you reinvested the time, energy and effort you have put into Facebook, or any other social-channel-come-lately, into your own brand?

What could you build with your consumers then?