Question: Should you delete your Facebook Business Page?

My answer to this is a resounding YES.

In this article, we are going to look at the main reasons why you should delete your Facebook business page. Let me begin by saying the multiple businesses I run have had fb pages, some of which I have now deleted, also you will not find a fb page for this website. 

My advice in this article is aimed at the majority of businesses, but not all. It is not aimed at all social media either, only at Facebook as I do not see them as playing fair. 

Facebook Is Not Good For Small Businesses 

Fb Pages Take Peoples Attention Away From Your Website

If we talk about paid content publishing, there are particular problems with that as well. There is a chain of specially designed processes to take more money out of your pocket and return less profit. There are three different categories intended for three types of people when you are placing your ad. 

1-Boosting

2-Ads Manager

3- Power editor

These three categories are specially designed interfaces for beginner, intermediate and advance users. In my experience the first two categories are pitfalls. The more you invest in boosting your post, the less you get. Due to the ad going live with just a click under your newly posted content people often go for it. But there is almost no return if you are doing this unless planned (funneling effect). People have lost a lot of money and are still missing this problem. 

The second category is the Ads Manager which is for the people who possess intermediate knowledge about FB ads. If you use this correctly, this might give little better results, but honestly, this might be a pitfall if you do not utilize it correctly and you may end up losing money.

The last interface is for professional users, and if you utilize this section correctly, you might get a good return. The point I want to emphasize here is that FB is deliberately wasting your money by making multiple platforms and making systems complex. 

The flaw in the three-step funnelling technique using FB 

Now you have become a real professional in Facebook ads and reached the power editor interface and even that this is the real deal. Apart from that you also realised that the best way is to redirect you’re the traffic to your website. It does not stop here; you need to learn funnelling technique to make the sales. Funnelling technique work on the principle of awareness, repeat visibility, engagement and finally sales. You have to design awareness campaigns by reaching people on FB with a good choice of demographics. Then you need to re-engage with the same audience and make them like your page. After that, you need to retarget those people who liked your page so that they go to your website. Those who reach your page may buy your products or download the app etc. 

If you see the whole process above, there are many issues in that. 90% or perhaps more than that of the money you are investing in the public to reach your website is going in favour of Facebook. Only very few people enter your site. To understand that let me be concise. The awareness means to reach your FB posts and page which is adding content directly to FB. Repeat visibility is doing the same as awareness. Engagement is adding value to FB in a similar way as before. All that is going on till now is mainly adding to value, money, time, effort and content to Facebook. In addition to that when a customer finally reaches your website it is less likely that he remembers it in future as most of the time it was Facebook which kept the user engaged.      

Not reaching to your fans

When Facebook became a public trading entity and became answerable to its stakeholders the fans that see your post began to go down. According to one statistic, 16% of fans used to look at your content which has now dropped to 2.5%. It means that if 100 users have subscribed your page currently only, 2-6 can see the content you produce. Once more if 100 people liked your page 98 are unable to look at your updates. A recent research paper from juggernaut Forrester Research shows that only 2% of the followers of top brands saw what you are sharing, and the engagement ratio is far less than that.    

The story behind facebook likes

This story is not going to end anytime soon; it is going on and on. Let see what people have to say about facebook likes. You wake up one day and see that your competitor has massive progress in getting likes in comparison to you. Your boss comes to you shouting to reach there the same level with the small budget you have. A lot of us were in this position in the past. But social media guru’s are saying more likes does not equate to more traffic or engagement. We are now in an era where people can purchase for likes and engagement but this does not offer any return on the investment. 

Leasing your page and not in total control

Another reason it is dangerous for small businesses is that you are investing a lot of time on the platform but at the end of the day it is not your property, and Facebook is its owner. You are giving all the benefits to FB. And in return, they are reducing your engagement day by day. You are entirely vulnerable to the policies of FB. It happened with most of the companies that they developed a strategy then invested money, and their time then FB changed the policy and all that work was wasted. One of the most significant policy shift as mentioned above is that they have reduced the organic reach. Another change in the policy and your all money and investment is gone. What if some company buys FB tomorrow or FB is forgotten with new trends in the market. You might be thinking this is not possible. Maybe you are right but what happened with the MySpace. Social media usage is already seeing a huge shift towards Instagram, is this the next Facebook? The whole point here is that for the sake of your business future you don’t have to rely on third parties.

Social media is the ultimate equaliser. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage “Amy Jo Martin.” Facebook, on the other hand, is doing the opposite. To start with, Facebook terms of service are worth mentioning here. Facebook terms of service say that they own your data (section 2.1). Isn’t that strange to know, we often don’t read the terms of service. But it does not end here. In section 4.6 of their terms of service, it is said that if you don’t keep your account up to date and accurate they might terminate your account. Now to the second point you might say that Facebook has written these lines just to protect themselves and is not enforcing it. But what they are doing practically will realise you that their defence is weak. Facebook is all about you being their unpaid employee, and your data is used for targeting ads and generating money for them.  

Privacy Issues      

Facebook has increasingly become a problem regarding privacy issues. There are questions raised by many on Facebook privacy. In defence to that Facebook CEO said ”people have gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds but more openly and with more people. This new social norm is just something that has evolved.” With the introduction of open graph API, not only Facebook is using your data but also making it public to be used by others.

Data Shared With Applications 

No, it does not stop here. They are sharing our data with the application we are installing. So now you are not only trusting with your data facebook but also the application developers. In short, you are trusting their whole ecosystem with your data. Their argument is simple if you are using their application and willing to share your data then it is their property no matter how they use it. So what option do they leave you with, maybe delete the account? 

Account Deletion Is Difficult Thing To Do  

To delete an account on Facebook is an incredibly difficult process. They don’t promise to eliminate your data when you delete the account. Moreover, the application to which your data is given, retain it as well. If you intended to delete your account and you go to setting you can only see the option of deactivating the account, which is not the same thing as deleting your account. Deactivating means your photos can still be tagged. And if you log back in you will find that nothing ever happened. To delete your account, you need to dig deep into the pages to find the option. Digging deep means that at least 4-5 clicks to find the desired option. So Facebook is trying their best to make it an unsuccessful attempt.     

Is your customer data is safe with Facebook? 

Your customer data is no doubt the most precious data you have. It is an asset that never fades out. The companies who survived the test of recession and stringent time always valued their existing customer and relationships.  You have three great things in your hand an email address, phone number, and a physical address. This data complete in your hand can change the fate of your competitor. You never want to lose such an asset. But when you sign up or in the process of establishing FB page, you accept the terms of service. As mentioned above FB terms of service explicitly indicates that any data you share is their property. FB is not only utilising this data but also sharing it with others. What if they might be selling it as well? Ok, this might not be the case now but who can predict the future. We are going to look at the misuse of data in the next section. 

Cambridge data breach

Just this week, Facebook has received a maximum fine of 500,000 ($645,000) for what is described as a major data breach. According to the Information Commissioners Office for Cambridge Analytics (ICO) Facebook broke many privacy laws and failed their users by allowing developers access to data without proper consent. These incidents took place between 2007 and 2014. The breach was discovered in 2015, but the ICO has also ruled that when this issue came to light, Facebook failed again to ensure those who held the user data did, in fact, delete it.  Read more here on businessinsider.com

Recent data issue with U.S. Election   

Without getting into politics, not discussing if you are for or against President Trump, There is a lot of speculation with regards to Facebook’s involvement in the 2016 Election Campaign. To cut a very long story short, during the election campaigning there were 470 fake Facebook accounts and pages set up that were in some way or another linked. These pages were apparently operated out of Russia and purchased $100,000 in advertising. Facebook does admit to finding over $50,000 worth of advertising spending with a potential Russian connection. The ads created from the fake account were aimed at LGBT matter, race, immigration, and gun rights issue. The fact that a site like this can be potentially misused in such a way is not good. Some do believe Facebook won the election for Trump.  Read more here on  Forbes.com and Wired.com  

Nick Clegg now involved     

Now to the other side of the pond (The UK) where Facebook has just hired the ex-MP and ex-deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to be their Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications. Basically, it looks like he has been hired to lobby parliament on issue Facebook are fighting such as being pressed to co-operate with supply data to fight Terrorism and online extremists, and the issue of not paying enough tax (Facebook pays less than 1% tax in the UK). Read more on Skynews.com

Unethical Behavior Of Facebook CEO

Many of us are familiar with the name Mark Zuckerberg and movies produced in his name. Cameron Howard who is an American rover and entrepreneur with his brother sued Facebook in 2004 regarding stealing of their idea. Cameron together with his brother and Divya Narendra created a social media platform by the name of ConnectU. In 2004 he sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea which was used on Facebook later. In February 2008 a settlement agreement reached between the two parties and the worth of this agreement was 65 million dollar. Later on, there were other problems with this agreement. This was an out of court settlement and gives a good idea about the notion that he paid the money to resolve it. The Facebook CEO is having a history of unethical behaviour.

Conclusion

The fundamental difference between the Facebook of today and before is that they have removed all the advantages it had as a great place to share great content. With the drop of organic reach, it is becoming more of a media agency which is utilising vast sums of peoples data unethically. There are some severe privacy issues. They are changing their policies very often which is also a problem. The policy change could have been a good thing if it was done positively. Facebook, rather than making it an equal platform for all, is changing its policy to fill their greed. The ownership of your data is a severe issue as mentioned regarding the service of FB. It can be manipulated to affect every user as well as business entities. The Facebook account deletion is also an issue presented by individual users as they have made it quite a hectic and challenging process. Fb is a third party service with strict and inappropriate policies. It also concludes that for a long term you cannot spend your energy on it in the ever-changing technology landscape. Facebook is a leased internet property where you are not entirely in control of things. While doing business with FB your data is solely in the hands of Facebook. Do you feel safe while FB is proven to be unethical on many levels? The race of likes is also an issue which can affect your business in many levels. Fb in many ways is taking attention away from your website which is the real deal. The FB ads have multiple interfaces where people are likely to lose money. The funnelling marketing strategy which is proven to be very successful when used together with FB helps the cause of FB.