Is Facebook Replacing the Internet?

3 Nov

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Facebook. It’s where your customers are.

Just a couple of years ago, many digital marketers frequently forecasted the end of Facebook:

It surely won’t dominate for long. There must be some Facebook killer out there. Be platform agnostic – don’t build your business only on Facebook.

But now, unless your customers are a small niche group, they are on Facebook and spending more time on Facebook than ever!

Sure, there’s also still great value in Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and … well, I guess just Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Snapchat, Pinterest, and the rest all have their place, and are great for some brands and audiences, but not all.

Play the numbers. Your customers are on Facebook and spending less time on the non-Facebook portion of the Internet. And that portion may be replaced or eaten by Facebook. Here are some parts of your digital world that may soon be replaced by Facebook and a next step for each to help you prepare.

1. Facebook Replacing Your Company Website

Some consumers already won’t leave the “Friendly Confines” of Facebook. In the months and years ahead, fewer of them will be likely to leave and go to some corporate website.

If your digital marketing strategy only focuses on driving people from Facebook to your website, consider skipping this step and engaging that audience while they have given you some attention.

What activity can customers do on your website that grows your business? Ordering product / eCommerce? Making appointments? Downloading videos? Do that same thing on your Facebook page.

Next Step: Look at your website and replicate the business-driving activity.

2. Facebook Video Replacing of YouTube As a Social Video Channel

Facebook is taking a big bite out of YouTube’s video ad business. At the same time, we should look at the current state of using these platforms to share organic video content.

YouTube is amazing, but it’s a repository, not a social channel. Sure, continue to upload all of your videos there for consumers to find through YouTube / Google searches, but don’t drive your Facebook fans there. Where would you prefer customers spend a few extra minutes? On your Facebook page where they can engage and communicate with you or on your YouTube channel, which lends itself more to snark from trolls than genuine customer engagement?

Next Step: Start posting your original video content direct to Facebook, not links from YouTube.

3. Facebook Ads Replacing Online Ads

The Ad Blocking trend is a HUGE opportunity for your brand on Facebook.

Ad blocking tools block nearly all types of mobile ads. But what’s not stopped? Facebook boosted posts (as well as Twitter promoted Tweets and other social ads).

Steve Rubel of Edelman recently wrote that this situation will make earned media more valuable and I absolutely agree. The way to best draw new customers to your brand is with interesting and relevant content. And the best way to attract consumers to that content in the first place is by paid ads on social channels.

Next Step: Jump into Facebook ads, particularly boosted posts now.

What other parts of the Internet do you think may soon be eaten by Facebook?

Please share in the comments section below. We’ll continue this discussion on this week’s episode of Social Geek Radio with my guest digital strategist and author, Chris Adams!

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