You may have heard rumors of the decline of Facebook for business – that pages aren’t useful anymore and that likes mean nothing (or very little). But even if you haven’t, you may have doubts about putting effort into the social media giant. After all, it’s 13 years old, it doesn’t have a very specialized audience (it includes everyone from teenagers to grandparents), and it would seem to make more sense to focus on newer, more popular networks like Instagram and Snapchat. Right?
Social media experts (including me) say otherwise. Facebook pages are still relevant and it’s still valuable to maintain your Facebook presence. So let’s take a look at a few of the arguments for why Facebook pages aren’t important – and why Facebook pages are still relevant in 2017.
Argument #1: Facebook is losing its audience
Whether or not you’ve heard this myth (a rather old one from 2013), it’s simply not true. Facebook’s user base is currently bigger than the population of the three of the world’s largest countries (United States, Brazil, and China) … combined. (source) And everyone is on Facebook. No matter what your audience is – retirees, college students, young parents, or anything in between – your audience is on Facebook. And with 1.37 billion users active every day (source), Facebook is where a lot of people on social media are.
Argument #2: Your fans won’t see your posts
This argument is presented because of Facebook’s algorithm updates that are reducing the amount of Facebook fans who see your page’s posts. This is a frustrating development, but Facebook is trying to keep their users happy and not overwhelm them with brand posts – there are more Facebook pages than ever before, and Facebook can only succeed if the users are happy. And besides, as long as you’re posting regularly, your fans may not see everything you post, but they’ll still see some – and it only takes a few to keep you in their minds.
Argument #3: Page likes are irrelevant
Some people will argue that page likes are irrelevant (sometimes including argument #2 – they’re irrelevant because people won’t see your posts). But ever since Facebook introduced the “like” feature in 2009, Facebook likes have become a form of social proof. The more likes your page has, the more popular and valuable it appears to new visitors, and the more likely it is that they will trust you (and maybe click the “like” button themselves). Because of Facebook’s algorithms, likes don’t necessarily correlate to the size of your audience – it’s more about showing potential followers that your page is worthy of being liked.
Argument #4: You’ll get better results on [insert network here]
This is a “grass is greener” argument. Everyone seems to have their network of choice that gave them better results, and they’re happy to tell you how you’ll get a better ROI on X network than Facebook. And who knows, maybe your audience will respond better on Instagram, or Twitter, or another network. It depends on your audience. But success in social media is about going where the people are – and as we established back in Argument #1, the people are definitely on Facebook. Even if your page doesn’t do well, if you don’t spend a lot on advertising, all you’ve lost is time.
Bonus tip: Since Facebook is a general, multi-purpose network with a massive active audience, it’s a great network to get started with when you’re first starting to build your social media presence.