After 10 years and with more than a billion active users, Facebook has changed social and business dynamics. Individuals interact differently than they did prior to Facebook and businesses have had to adapt their business models to use this social media platform.
For every positive there is a negative to countermand the good and bad of Facebook in our lives. The internet has changed the way most people do day-to-day activities, from shopping to developing friendships. Social change happens. It is simply the cycle of life. Businesses must adapt to these changes to remain viable.
The Good Social benefits of Facebook.
Among younger users there are some positive social benefits using Facebook. Kids can share their important life events; birthdays, adventures, and graduations to mention a few. Older kids can reconnect with friends they made before their families moved for jobs. Shy kids found a positive place to develop social skills. Parents can (and should) use privacy controls to protect their kids from predators.
The Bad Social Effect of Facebook.
For each of the positives listed above, there are significant negative social effects on kids’ lives. Facebook can become time-consuming and so addictive that real, face to face interaction is ignored. If parents are not paying attention, they may not know that their kid is either a victim of cyber-bullying or a perpetrator. Kids, being kids, may post inappropriate things that potential employers may see in the future, thus affecting work-life success.
Facebook can foster or damage relationships.
Love is hard to find in our fast-moving world. Facebook has become a place for people to find one another and share the ups and downs of their relationship. This can be a positive thing for couples to have a ready-made scrapbook of their lives together, but it can cause couples to ignore bigger issues in the relationship in order to show a positive front to others in their news feeds.
Break ups happen; it is just a natural thing in intimate relationships. Unfortunately, Facebook appears to exacerbate issues that couples would normally be able to work out on their own resulting in an inordinately large number of people citing Facebook as a reason for divorce. In fact, nearly one-third of divorce filings have the word “facebook” in the brief.
Small business challenges with Facebook.
The large potential audience offered by Facebook has made it a popular social media for small businesses that need to find customers on a tight budget. The marketing potential is extraordinary and potentially huge, but in the last few years Facebook as created so many new bells and whistles for Business pages that small businesses can neither keep up nor afford the upkeep to make it work for them.
The pros for Facebook marketing for tech savvy businesses outweigh some of the potential negatives, but not always. Savvy businesses know how to link their businesses websites with their Facebook page to drive traffic. If possible they have one or two staff dedicated to the upkeep of the business Facebook page: engaging with visitors, responding to comments, creating content, etc.
However, even tech savvy businesses are challenged by recent changes In Facebook that seem to support larger businesses better than smaller ones. Facebook supports pay-per-impression better than pay-per-click ads. Smaller businesses are better able to afford CPC ads than CPM ads, so they are essentially left behind larger businesses that can afford a larger advertising budget.
It is important for small businesses to find a way to communicate their needs with the various social media platforms, especially Facebook, in order to foster a win-win relationship. Change happens and it is unstoppable. The fact that the internet has become an intrinsic part of business models means that all businesses need to adapt or fail.