The Dark Side of Facebook

The Dark Side of Facebook

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.

Every single business owner should have a social media strategy

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

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.

Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

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Leanne Peard
Leanne Peard

Leanne Peard is an expert on Facebook, and recently won the Best Social Media Educator for 2019, Australia and New Zealand. Leanne is the creator of Become a Social Media Manager a certified accredited training program available in Australia and now available online. With 12 years experience in the world of social media, she knows first hand how important it is for small to medium businesses to adapt a social media strategy, either small or large, to stay in front of their competitors and attract new leads and sales. Developing the skill set to utilise social media is essential for the businesses to grow. Her passion for small business comes from her own experience in the business sector for over 30 years. She is extremely passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills to assist the business sector.

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  1. Hi, I don´t advertise a lot on FB because I heared al lot about those problems. I had the same isues on Google. All my chanel are canceled for no reason. You can ask for, but they don´t ineteract with you and kept me banned. I decided to star again, the hard way. Building a blog, trying to buid organic traffic and advertise in different ways. That´s not as profitable as payed ads on Google and FB, but it means more indipendece from hard to understand rules of those platforms.

    • Indeed, the organic approach is the best, but if you need to accelerate things, paid advertising can certainly help. And there are options outside of Facebook in social media just like you can use Bing Ads instead of Google…

  2. I agree with you. In the new version of Facebook, the role of the function is assigned to events, for which users return to the social network over and over again. The main task of the updated events is to make it so that the user can easily find an activity nearby. A map will appear in the corresponding tab, on which interesting events will be marked next to the user’s location, an improved interface that allows you to watch the events of friends and also public events that Facebook decides to recommend. Did you know that, a quote from Wikipedia: “Businesses and users can interact through Messenger with features such as tracking purchases and receiving notifications, and interacting with customer service representatives. Third-party developers can integrate apps into Messenger, letting users enter an app while inside Messenger and optionally share details from the app into a chat”, source – Good luck!

  3. HI Leanne, this goes to show us that we cannot rely on one social network alone! We must have on our own websites and email lists. We own them.
    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the other social networks are rented space. They can up the rent or have us evicted!
    I can’t believe the stories you shared about Facebook but I did encounter one with a client who had the same thing happen losing his ad account. (for no known reason!)
    Thanks for sharing about this one Leanne.

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