Facebook can be pretty frustrating. I make no excuses about that.
But when do you say enough is enough? Does there come a time when you do what all the trendy thinkpiece writers do and straight up quit?
Should you really delete your Facebook page?
Spoiler alert: Nah, probably not. So why am I asking, exactly?
Because one of the blogging world’s heaviest hitters recently did just that.
Earlier this month, Copyblogger blew minds all over the online marketing world by announcing that it was killing its Facebook page. Not a revamp, not a relaunch – they were going total scorched-earth on this thing.
In their announcement, they gave a few reasons as to why they were ditching their Facebook page, like fake profiles diluting their fanbase and frustratingly low engagement rates. Others have issued their strongly opinionated responses to Copyblogger’s decision, and those opinions are absolutely worth reading. This isn’t about MY opinion, though – this is about YOU.
Thinking Copyblogger may be onto something? Think you might give up on YOUR Facebook page, too? There are some things you should keep in mind before you pull the plug.
1. It’s easy to fear the worst.
Copyblogger explained that one of the reasons they struggled with their Facebook page was a deluge of fake fans – basically, fraudulent accounts that become fans of your page. (They’re not wrong about this being a problem – you can learn more about fake fans here.) They cited their number of fake fans as “overwhelming.”
Was it really? Wellllll, that’s up for debate. Jon Loomer – who you will see is very, VERY smart – crunched some numbers and thinks that “overwhelming” may have been an overstatement. (Full disclosure, he’s not being critical of Copyblogger – he’s just taking a closer look at the data.)
Regardless of who’s right here, you can see what happened: Copyblogger assumed the worst and tried very, very hard to protect themselves. So hard, in fact, that they hid their Facebook page from the entire country of India.
Think about that for a sec.
It’s easy to assume the worst, and to get a little spooked. Heck, every time Facebook changes an algorithm or Google releases a new update, practically every web marketer in the industry feels their heart rate go up! And especially over the past year or so, with organic reach sinking like a stone, it’s easy to convince yourself that something is a lost cause, and just isn’t worth the effort anymore.
Don’t be quick to assume that something is a lost cause.
When you hear about something that could negatively affect your marketing – even if it’s a legit concern, like fake Facebook fans – you shouldn’t automatically assume that the wheels are falling off the bus. Yeah, that stuff is a pain to deal with, but is it worth killing your Facebook page over?
The answer to that question is actually in the second thing you need to remember…
2. Data is your friend!
Data can be boring. I mean, it’s numbers. WOO HOO, right?
Buuuut…data is also your friend. In fact, on social media, data can be your BEST friend. Like, your BFF.
If you don’t analyze your data, you’re driving blindfolded.
Who’s your audience? Where are they from? What types of posts do they like, or not like? When are they online?
You can get the answers to those questions! Your data tells you what to post and when – you just have to actually DO it.
The other reason you need to look at your data? Some of the most important data isn’t out in the open.
Facebook likes, retweets, etc. – all that stuff is great for the ego, but it’s only half the story. How many people are your social accounts actually sending to YOUR WEBSITE?
Here’s what I’m talking about. See, the people at Copyblogger are smart. They’ve been at this a long time, and they’re a huge name in blogging for a reason. Buuuuut they may have overlooked some important information when it comes to analyzing their data.
They saw that their Facebook page wasn’t getting a lot of likes or shares, which seemed to indicate that it wasn’t performing well. But what Jon Loomer found shows a different side of the story: Facebook was Copyblogger’s second highest referrer for traffic. In fact, it may have been responsible for tens of thousands of pageviews every single month.
Just because your Facebook page LOOKS like a ghost town doesn’t mean that it isn’t helping. Same goes for your other social networks, too. Remember, things aren’t always what they appear to be!
3. Killing your page hobbles your advertising.
Getting organic reach and traffic from Facebook is a challenge, I know – but forget about all that for just a second.
Because even if you find that the organic stuff isn’t worth the heartache, you can’t forget about the value of paid advertising on Facebook.
A site like Copyblogger doesn’t necessarily need to worry about paying for reach on Facebook, because it’s big and popular enough already. It’s basically a household name in its industry.
For a smaller business, though, having the option of paying for advertising on Facebook is a HUGE advantage, because while it isn’t free, it can be more than worth the investment – IF you have an active Facebook page.
For one thing, your page’s likes and Insights give you a GREAT jumping off point for honing in on your ideal audience. It’s just like that chart I posted a little bit up the page – you can see what age group your audience is in, whether they’re mostly men or women, where they live, and so on.
When you’re sinking money into Facebook ads, you want to be as specific as possible regarding who sees them – that’s how you weed out the low-value clicks and traffic that drive up your costs without actually helping your business. If you don’t know who to target, though, you have little choice but to either blindly guess or cast a net that’s waaaaaay too wide.
Not only that, but your Facebook page bolsters your ads with social proof. You probably see this happen every single day:
When you maintain a Facebook page, your ads show relevant likes to the people who see them. In the image above, for example, I’m not just seeing an ad for Zipcar – I’m seeing an ad AND I’m seeing the names of two of my friends who LIKE Zipcar.
Social proof like that can make an enormous difference, and without a Facebook page for people to like, you’re missing out on it.
Even if your Facebook page isn’t as popular as you want, or growing as quickly as you wish, killing it significantly restricts the potential of any paid advertising you may want to do now OR in the future.
4. Progress takes time. (Sometimes, lots and lots of it.)
I have a ton of respect for Copyblogger. I know I keep saying it, but it’s true, and I don’t want to come off as super duper critical of a decision they probably put lots of serious thought into.
But there IS one thing that struck me as pretty odd in their original post.
They describe in the intro how they reached out for help with rejuvenating their page… three months ago.
Three months? Three months.
That’s not a very long time. Three months ago it was JULY.
You’ve gotta give yourself time to make progress.
It sucks, but you’ve gotta do it!
Copyblogger’s Facebook page had been around for a long time before all this, and maybe it wasn’t living up to expectations. (Again, Jon Loomer’s excellent breakdown gives some reasons why that may have been the case.) But giving yourself three months to make a change might not be entirely fair.
I’ve talked before about the importance of slow, consistent progress, and I stand by that. My Facebook page has more than 41k likes, but I’ve been building them on a slow and steady basis for YEARS – I didn’t wake up one day to find a 10k jump! While being patient is tough and frustrating and blaaaaahh, it’s also realistic – and that matters a LOT.
All this might sound like I disagree with Copyblogger’s decision to kill its Facebook page, but really, it’s a little more complicated than that…
Conclusion: You should do what Copyblogger did. (Sort of.)
Deleting their Facebook page won’t be the end of the world for Copyblogger. Like I said, it’s a huge site! It gets tons of well-deserved traffic, its content is amaaaaazing, and it has a huge community of fans on networks like Twitter.
But that doesn’t mean you should delete YOUR Facebook page – even if it’s frustrating you.
I’m always saying that you should do what works and ditch what doesn’t, and that’s the decision Copyblogger made – so more power to them! But Facebook is still the biggest game in town, and with the right plan and more than a little patience, a small business can use it to go REALLY far.
So yes, you absolutely should follow their example by doing what works and ditching what doesn’t. But unless you’re ALSO getting around 450k monthly visitors to your site already, like Copyblogger is, ditching Facebook miiiiight not be the place to start.
What do you think? Would you ever kill your Facebook page? Share your thoughts in the comments below!