Welcome! I know what you are thinking! Dark Side? What is the Dark side of Facebook?
Now before I share my experiences and the experiences of clients and friends who have encountered the dark side of Facebook, I need to assure you that I still love Facebook for marketing, however as business owners we need to ensure that our social media strategy is effective and our businesses will not be jeopardized because of community guidelines and the rules that are sometimes beyond our control.
I have been using Facebook since its inception in 2005, as a business owner my first business was a profile, there was no opportunity to list a business as a page then. For me Facebook has been a very volatile relationship, I love what it offers to us all as individuals and business owners. I also see the other side of bullying with our young adults and the limited control that we have in this regard. I have also seen many business owners build a brand on this social media platform and have Facebook remove them overnight with no information to support them, leaving them with a business that has no traffic.
In this article I am going to share with you my first hand experience and some of my clients. This is not a hate article against Facebook, this is an opportunity to ensure that you have your strategy in place to overcome any of the situations that you maybe faced whilst engaging in online social media activities.
Let’s start with your strategy, every single business owner should have a social media strategy, this can be on one particular platform or across multiple sites, depending on your business and your brand. Without going into detail on the strategy the number one rule of social media marketing, in my opinion is that you MUST always drive traffic from all online platforms to your website and build a list, whether this is email or a bot, either way the success of your social media must be building your list to grow your database. For many years I tried, not very hard to build my list, for me emails just didn’t cut it, I don’t like the amount of marketing emails I get, however this is a personal point of view, from a marketing and business perspective, I know that I have purchased many products, courses and software from an email that has gone into my email account. So it is a love hate relationship again. When Facebook messenger bots were introduced a few years ago I personally find them easier to setup and create and prefer them to email marketing, not only that the open rate on a messenger bot in Facebook is 80% compared to 10 – 20% on emails….
Building your list either by email or bot or both is crucial to your overall online social media success, because in the event that any of your accounts get turned off or in some cases deleted by Facebook you still have these contact to continue to market to and possibly send them to another social site or a new one, whatever the circumstance is.
I know that you are possibility thinking, Why would Facebook close down my accounts, well there are a number of reasons, for me personally I have never been told by Facebook what I have done to close off or limit my access and I find this incredibly concerning for a few reasons, which I will go into later.
For now, you are to comply with the Facebook Community Terms and Conditions, Which are somewhat clear I think, however if you are a business owner and you don’t breach any of these terms and conditions (to the best of your knowledge and experience), then you find out that your account in particular your advertising account has been closed down, this can be extremely confusing and frustrating….
My story with Facebook is a love and hate one, I love what I can do and how I can reach potentially millions of people, the use of Facebook live had reinstated my enthusiasm for the platform and then along came messenger bots and I was in love with the platform again, well I have been for the past 2 years, I even found that using the video view ad campaign after my live video show gave me a massive increase in reach and subscribers to my messenger bot list for a minimum of 1 cent per view.
This has been exceptionally great for my business and those that I am training as social media managers and business owners, then one day you wake up and find this across the top of your account
Yes, I have the right to appeal and I did so 3 weeks ago and yet still no response from Facebook. It seems that me Leanne Peard as the individual have had all my rights removed across all the accounts that I am an admin of, which if I was still a social media manager this would be a massive detriment to my business, so I count myself lucky in that regards, but it doesn’t help me continue to grow my business. I have a number of training groups both free and paid in Facebook and I have now had my videos blocked, which means that I can not upload more training to these groups, which is confusing as again, all my videos are based around training people on how to use Facebook and other platforms, so from my experience I have not violated any of the terms and conditions.
The Dark side of Facebook, in my opinion is that we have no opportunity to discuss, have the appeal heard or even contact Facebook about this problem. As a consumer and business owner in Australia, all businesses are governed by the Australian Consumer Law which means we have rights to refunds, appeals and sometimes compensation. Yet, a business like Facebook can trade and then stop our livelihood without any feedback, training or compensation to our brands..
Now I am the lucky one, I was speaking to a number of business owners in different groups and here are a few more of the dark side of Facebook stories….
One of my clients is spending over $20,000 a month on Facebook ads for a Health product that sells for $57, his return on this spend is approximately $10,000 a month. Just recently for no apparent reason his Facebook ads account was closed, he appealed and it took over 3 months before Facebook allowed him to activate his ads account and start business again. Now that is a $30,000 loss that he experienced, with no feedback as to why this occurred.
A lady I was communicating with in the USA told me that she had grown her live video show to over 50,000 subscribers and had a massive online engagement on each video she had (this is what Facebook wants) so all the boxes where ticked as far as she was concerned, however she had some malicious comments placed by an individual on her page (which she is responsible to remove) and before she was able to monitor and remove these comments, Facebook closed down her account, her business that she had built for the past 3 years and all her followers GONE! Now if she had used the number one strategy that I spoke of in the beginning of this article she would be able to redirect them to another channel, she maybe able to upload the videos if she had kept a copy and put them on YouTube.
Another gentleman I was speaking to in Melbourne, told me a similar story that one of his 8 Facebook Business Pages was doing extremely well in live streaming and he was able to introduce the subscription offer to his viewers of $4.95 US per month, again with no warning he woke up one morning to find his account had been closed down with no feedback as to why? The problem he is having now is that Facebook is still debiting the people that have subscribed and yet they don’t have any content to view.
The biggest problem with all of the above case studies is the lack of support and the ability to discuss the issues with Facebook, I realize that this would be a huge cost and task for Facebook to implement, however they are running a business and charging clients to market with their tools, surely they must have the duty of care to discuss and give support to the business owners about their accounts and advise what they have done to violate the terms and conditions, so that the business owner can be more prepared and educated moving forward with their Facebook content and advertising. You don’t know what you don’t know, and the guidelines are clear, but the information is not when you are put into this situation.
Again I need to reiterate that these are the person experiences of me and people that I know and have spoken with online, this is not a legal case or any defamatory comments against the giant of Facebook, I just believe that before you enter into the amazing online world of Facebook that your ensure that you have your strategy in effect to compensate you and your business in the event that you may have the misfortune to see the Dark Side Of Facebook.
Hero photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash