Would Your Business Survive Without Facebook and Instagram?
Being Banned By Facebook Could Happen to Anyone
One of my clients recently had their business ad account disabled by Facebook. This kind of situation is becoming more common as social media platforms like Facebook try to restrict the sharing of unpleasant content and disinformation. Just to be clear, you do not need to be posting anything either hateful or untrue in order to get swept up by the algorithm and banned, it could happen to anyone and you may never find out why you were banned. You could lose access to your business Facebook pages, advertising account and even personal Facebook account either temporarily or permanently. Luckily my client had diversified their marketing so that while losing access to Facebook advertising was very frustrating, it was not a catastrophe. They did eventually get their ad accounts reinstated, but it took several weeks. Could your business survive and thrive without Facebook and Instagram? Scroll down for some ideas on how to prepare so that the loss of a social media account will not be a disaster for you.
Big tech companies have a tremendous amount of power over small businesses and while algorithms and AI can be amazing marketing tools, if you're caught on the wrong side of one it's super frustrating. Here's how to prepare your business so that you can cope with the loss of any social media or advertising channel and keep on growing.
1. Intentionally Grow Your Email List (And Send Emails to Keep Your Subscribers Engaged)
This is the most important thing you can do, because you OWN that list of email addresses, whereas Facebook (or whatever social media channels) own your Facebook page and all the content on it. If Mailchimp goes out of business or bans you tomorrow, you can take your list and switch to another provider and no single email provider has the power to shut down your email communication. Besides this, your emails will have a much higher reach and conversion rate than social media anyway so it just makes sense to prioritize email marketing. You should periodically download your email list and keep it on file just in case. Of course, it doesn't make sense to be wholly reliant on email and do no other marketing - diversity is the key.
If you want to be really intentional about this then set yourself a target e.g. I want to double my email list in the next 6 months. Then work backwards and figure out realistically what kind of list building campaigns you would need to do to make that happen.
2. Have More Than One Admin on Your Facebook Page
You should always have at least one other ‘Admin’ on your Facebook page and Facebook ad account, so that in the event you’re banned or restricted in some way, someone else can still access your business page on your behalf. However, this only works if you have been personally banned or restricted, in the case that the business page itself is banned then this won't help.
3. Claim All Your Social Media Handles
You should ‘claim’ or register accounts on all the social media platforms you can think of, even the ones you have no intention of using at present. In the event you lose access to one social media channel, at least you have options, and you also ‘future proof’ your business when you do this.
4. Follow The Rules
In the case of Facebook and Instagram, it’s not enough to think your content and ads meet their policies, you need to inform yourself of their rules and ensure you are following them. This is particularly important if you’re in niches related to health, coaching, finance or anything that could be construed as political - in these cases, it would be relatively easy to accidentally violate a policy and get banned.
Have A Lot of Baskets for Your Eggs
As the wise saying goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Just as you wouldn’t build your business around a single client, or a single product, you should also diversify your marketing and advertising channels so that you’re not in the position of being dependent on a single outlet that could disappear at any time.
I hope this gentle reminder was useful to you! Let me know what you think, have you ever faced a similar situation in your business and what was the outcome?
I'm a big fan of email marketing - here's some more encouragement to get your email marketing moving!