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That’s it! I quit wasting my time on Facebook!

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I never tried to hide my love/hate relationship with Facebook. But this time I make it official: I’m going to spend less time on Facebook, and more time on other platforms where I’m not actually wasting my time!

Quit Wasting Time on Facebook

Just have a look at these numbers

Facebook’s Edge Rank makes it extremely difficult to achieve good results from Facebook. 96% of fans don’t go back to a brand’s Facebook page after initial engagement! In other words: all these nice tabs that you created and customized barely get noticed! But it gets even better: out of all your followers who like your page, only 16% on average actually see your posts!
And I know the Facebook Gurus will tell you that you’re not doing it right, that you should be getting more engagement, more likes, more love… but is it really worth all this effort, if in the end only 16% of my followers see my updates?

People are on Facebook to stay in touch with friends – not to do business

Facebook has most of us hooked – we want to stay in touch with family members & friends. This means that we are in a relaxed ‘leisure’ mode when spending time on Facebook. I’ve never logged in to Facebook with the plan to spend money or make professional relationships on Facebook. And it’s the same for most of us.

For whom Facebook still works

This being said, businesses who are active in this ‘leisure’ industry might still be successful on Facebook, at least if they pay for their posts to get more visibility. I’m thinking of travel agents, beauty salons, shoe or jewelry stores for example. But for the rest of us ‘service based’ entrepreneurs, I really don’t see the point anymore.

Why you still need a presence

Now, I still think businesses nowadays are expected to be present on Facebook. It’s almost as if you didn’t exist if you don’t have a Facebook page. However I’m on a mission to convince Small Business Owners to stop wasting their time trying to keep up with the latest changes, coolest tricks on how to get more engagement and wasting money on paid campaigns just to get more ‘likes’ who will most likely never see your updates anyway. I will use Facebook to post content (my own and other people’s and will always respond to any messages or comments I get. But I’m no longer investing precious time to get this ‘engagement’ that Facebook Gurus tell you is the answer to all your problems.

If not Facebook, then what?

Well, personally I’m a big fan of LinkedIn, but I’m also paying close attention to Google+ and I like what I’m seeing. I think more and more people will shift over from Facebook. Feel free to add me to your circles on Google+ 😉 Twitter is also good if you know how to use it. But more than ever I think it’s time to refocus on your website or blog. Submit regular content in order to grow your e-mail list. Your subscribers are your VIP crowd. They are the ones who love and share your content and are most likely to become clients one day.
So stop wasting time to try to crack the secret code of the Facebook Edge Rank and invest that time in creating content for your loyal e-mail subscribers!

I’d love to hear your opinion about this in the comments!

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About the Author Sarah Santacroce

I’m a LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor and help you convert your presence online into paying customers. I’m also the creative brain behind the LinkedIn Challenge, an event that has helped 1700+ people so far to improve their knowledge about using LinkedIn for business. I live and work in beautiful Switzerland and have helped hundreds of clients from all over the world breathe life into their LinkedIn profiles. I also work with local companies here in my little country to increase their visibility on this powerful professional platform. And finally it’s no coincidence that my business is called Simplicity: I’m known for my simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency, mixed with a good dose of Californian ‘yes we can’ attitude!

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12 comments
Joanne Saunders says 26 July 2013

Love it Sarah, love your bold words! I was telling a client yesterday that your network (from a Page) will interact in the newsfeed not ON your Page, so it is a matter of creating a strategy to lead the horse to water. Those great tabs will only work if you market them. People connect with people and will continue to do so, which is why a Page must be conversational, social and fun, while still being on brand and providing valuable content. This is why I LOVE LinkedIn, because people are there for a completely different reason!

Reply
    Sarah Santacroce says 26 July 2013

    Thanks Jo. As I said in the post, Facebook might still work for some, those who are willing to pay or the big consumer brands. As for my own business, I will continue to post on Facebook every now and then, but not actively seeking more likes or engagement. I’m also more comfortable on LinkedIn, but we knew that already 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
Marquita Herald says 27 July 2013

I can certainly relate, though I’ve always said I have a hate/love relationship with Facebook in general. I have to admit I’ve found a few worthwhile groups and that’s where I invest most of my time. As an author I find LinkedIn pretty useful – there again it takes some time to work through groups to find a few that aren’t all spammy and self promotion – but they’re there. Thanks for the inspiration!

Reply
    Sarah Santacroce says 27 July 2013

    thanks Marquita, for bringing up the groups. It’s true that I’m also on a few Facebook groups that I value ! My experience on LinkedIn groups is the same, a lot of them are spam fests, but the few which are not, are worth my time !!! Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment, Marquita !

    Reply
Long Island Marketing Company says 30 July 2013

Facebook marketing requires an investment of both time and money. Many Small Business owners are unaware of edgerank. Facebook is probably the hardest network to go “viral” on because of the artificial limitations it places on accounts. As marketers we love the amount of information that is available to us but your question is on the money. Is it time spent on Facebook worth it?

Reply
    Sarah Santacroce says 31 July 2013

    that’s exactly my question 😉 What do you think?

    Reply
      Long Island Marketing Company says 31 July 2013

      I wish it was any easy answer. You really have to determine the needs of the business before considering any advertising platform. In most cases it makes sense to have a facebook page (As long as it is not a ghost town and is actively updated) Whether or not to spend money would require a long discussion.

      There was a recent article about “freemium” games and a lot of principles that apply to those platforms would also apply to Facebook. In that case game mechanics are manipulated to force gamers to pay money into the system or spend a ridiculous amount of time to receive the same results as others who have paid into the system. Edge Rank = pay to play for small business.

      I think you have inspired us to do a post comparing the “freemium” model to edgerank.

      Reply
        Sarah Santacroce says 1 August 2013

        I like that analogy 😉 My brother-in-law is a game developer and from him I know about the freemium strategy. I look forward to that blog post, please make sure you send it to me 😉

        Reply
List of Posts to Help You Become a Pro at Google+ says 15 August 2013

[…] read my blog post about ‘Quitting Facebook – and moving to Google+‘ several members of my community have asked me for more information about Google+. The truth […]

Reply
Zhdan Staruch says 15 December 2013

Whether or not Facebook is adequate or waste of time for a SMB will depend on the purpose for its use, the end-user/customer population to be addressed and the preference of interaction used by this population.

First you need to asses which communication channel is the best. For example, in certain regions in Switzerland everybody uses Facebook and only very few Twitter. If you then also have a meaningful message to communicate to your customer base on a regular basis (promotions, the specials for the next day, etc.) then it will probably make a lot of sense to use facebook. Independently though, you may want to have a facebook company page just to make sure none of your competitors open one for you…

G+ is still an unfinished product lacking functionality, logic and organization (looking beyond the circles idea which is of course a great innovation). From the technology perspective, it still does not allow itself to be integrated with other web applications. So if for example you have a news blog on your web site, and you want every post you make to automatically link to your G+ company page and get posted there, you still can’t do that unless you hire a hacker. With Facebook and Twitter you can and web site providers like Weebly offer automated links.

Facebook is now like eBay and is not likely to be pushed off the thrown any soon. They may however begin to have competition the day someone comes out with a really new, disruptively different and slicker, much better organized far more logical and intuitive end-user experience and far more transcending and less restrictive platform compared to facebook.

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    Sarah Santacroce says 15 December 2013

    Thanks for your comment, Zhdan. I agree to some extent. Yes, a presence on FB is still recommended, to reserve that real estate on the internet. Then for consumer product companies I believe they will continue to be able to run successful FB campaigns, given they have the necessary budgets for it. But for service oriented Small Businesses, I will start to advise against Facebook. It’s not worth their while. Yes people are on Facebook, but if they don’t see your updates, what’s the point?

    Reply
      Zhdan Staruch says 15 December 2013

      – it will depend on what service they are providing, and the frequency of important updates in regard to the service that the SMB needs its customer base to know.

      For example, if you have a small take-away restaurant that also provides a home-made dishes, you may want to communicate to your existing customer base on a regular basis, for instance announcing in advance what they will be for the week. The loyal customers may even click on “like”, which indirectly gets the attention of their friends – this generates word of mouth advertising. Obviously this can only work if you make really good food, because otherwise it it can backfire just as fast if not quicker…

      Agreed that for some other services that do not require regular customer attention FB is a less useful channel..

      Reply
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