What to do When Your Business Gets Locked out of Facebook
I’m writing to you from Facebook jail. It looks almost identical to life outside of Facebook jail, minus the push notifications and ad recommendations.
There are no orange jumpsuits or guards in Facebook jail. In fact, when I log in to our business account, everything looks the same except that when I try to share a link to our website on Facebook or do anything on Instagram, a pop-up window tells me that I am sharing content that has been inexplicably deemed inappropriate.
I reported a problem on both platforms without any indication to when or whether it will be fixed, or what prompted the handcuffs in the first place. So what’s a marketing team to do without access to the biggest social media platform in the world?
Focus on what we can control.
Build Your Business on Platforms You Control
At SiteCrafting, social media is a megaphone for our brand. It’s part of our marketing plan, but it certainly isn’t our entire marketing plan and situations like this are exactly why. We aren’t the first company this has happened to. In fact, more and more individuals and companies are experiencing situations like this in light of Facebook’s new artificial intelligence algorithms. Having an integrated marketing strategy that doesn’t rely on social as the sole source for driving revenue is crucial.
Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Dhariana Lozano from Social Media Today had to say when Facebook and Instagram experienced a 10+ hour outage in 2019.
“There’s a key lesson in this for all businesses – depending on just one form of marketing is neither sustainable nor smart. You don’t own the networks, or the followings you’ve built on them. That’s why with my social media agency clients (and throughout my career) I have always advised an integrated, multi-channel approach.”
Social media profiles are rented spaces. The platforms own all of the information stored there and tech giants can revoke access to that information on any given day for any explanation they see fit — or without an explanation at all. For example, the seed company that Facebook blocked for sharing a picture of Walla Walla onions, which were “overtly sexual” according to Facebook’s AI.
That’s why we build our marketing strategy around things we control. Like our email list.
The Benefits of Building Your Email List
The downsides to email are few and far between. Just last week we sent out two emails to our subscriber list that generated as many clicks as almost a month’s worth of social media posts across four different channels. The takeaway? Don’t underestimate the potential of email marketing to drive meaningful website traffic.
Not to mention, when you send an email to your listserv you can guarantee that email will show up in the inboxes of your contacts. Compare that to the six percent of your social media followers that see any given post you share.
And in case those stats aren’t convincing enough, here are some other numbers that make the case for email marketing:
- Email marketing has a return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent. That’s a higher ROI than any other form of marketing.
- 77 percent of people prefer to receive promotional messages via email instead of social media
- 59 percent of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.
- Email is more than 40x as effective as Facebook and Twitter combined at customer acquisition.
- And finally, email allows 100 percent personalization. You can include names in email content, segment campaigns and create customized journeys for your audience based on their actions.
Building a Multi-Channel, Integrated Marketing Strategy
Beyond email, our marketing strategy includes guest blogging, speaking engagements, hosting webinars, case studies and search engine optimization to diversify how people engage with us.
We also believe in the value of word-of-mouth marketing and referrals, so we’re continually refining and improving our client experience as part of our marketing efforts. We intentionally think through everything from the entrance experience when a client visits our office, to project launch gifts and happy hours because we know our best marketing efforts have come from building exceptional products and providing delightful experiences for our clients.
What We’re Learning Through This
Although our overall marketing efforts haven’t been impacted by this social drama, we recognize that for many other businesses and for some of our clients, being locked out of Facebook could have a significant impact, especially in the Covid-era when online sales are the primary way many businesses are bringing in revenue.
If that’s you, we hope this situation might serve as a cautionary tale for what could potentially happen, and a reminder to use social media as sprinkles, not the foundation of your marketing strategy.
If you are reading this and your business has been locked out of a social platform for no apparent reason, we know how that feels and we’re sorry. It’s frustrating.
If you need some help building an email marketing strategy or putting together an integrated marketing plan, we’d be happy to help. Reach out and we can chat.