Facebook, or more accurately Meta, the business that compromises Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms, is never far from the headlines with the company even claiming last week that it may have to shut down Facebook and Instagram in Europe due to data issues.
While many believe that this announcement is a bluff, what is clear is that the headlines have become increasingly negative recently. Whether it is declining user numbers and share prices, or whistleblower reports of the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, the last few months have been difficult for the tech behemoth, as competitors, like TikTok, increasingly target and acquire the attractive Gen Z audience.
So, is it time to abandon Facebook in your marketing plans? The short answer…no, not yet. While it may not have the power it once had, some key factors, mean that Facebook (alongside Instagram and WhatsApp) can still offer routes to acquire and nurture an audience.
It may have seen its first ever decline in users, but in the UK more than 50m people were still using the platform (albeit some more actively than others) by the end of 2021. That’s an audience size that can’t be ignored – the key is to make sure it includes your audience. If it does, then the Facebook platform can still offer brand awareness, and drive traffic to websites and e-stores.
The second factor is advertising.
Meta’s advertising platform (including placements across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and the Facebook Audience network) is not a perfect model, but it is well established. Other platforms are still working to catch up from an advertising point of view. Twitter has never really managed to offer the same reach and engagement levels as Facebook, and TikTok, while making swift progress, is still defining its own advertising prowess.
Changes in targeting mean Meta’s audiences may not be as clearly defined as they once were – but with strategic planning and testing, as well as strong creatives, it can still be extremely effective.
But while it’s important not to spread yourself too thin, Facebook still has a role to play in your marketing activity, but results should be monitored. The key is to make sure it is working for you – and if not, be flexible enough to adapt, and to do so in a timely fashion.