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3 Crucial Lessons from the Facebook’s Death Spiral

Yosuke Carter
Mar 26, 2018 12:06 PM


Marketers like to say things are ‘Dead.’ Email is Dead. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Dead. Organic Social Media is Dead. It’s never the case, but I get what they’re trying to say.

With Facebook’s recent data privacy scandal, their stocks have been plummeting, and there’s a #deletefacebook movement. Now there are reports of Facebook collecting call history and SMS data from mobile devices. Facebook isn’t Dead, but these signs indicate that they’re in a Death Spiral, which is the stage leading up to marketers saying it’s officially Dead.


For the family entertainment industry and other small businesses who rely on Facebook to reach and engage with their audience, it’s not good. What would happen if Facebook becomes a ghost town? It can be scary to think about.

That’s why it’s good to be proactive and take action while your competition waits. Here are three crucial lessons for FEC owners and marketing leaders:

  1. Make more deposits into emotional bank accounts than withdraws.

    Stephen Covey’s metaphor that describes the amount of trust built up in a relationship has stuck with me over the years. Facebook’s mishandling of personal data is a huge withdrawal from their users’ emotional bank account. They’re at least trying to make deposits in their emotional bank account with full-page ads begging for forgiveness, but they would have to keep making deposits in order to regain trust.

    Every human-to-human business may make a mistake now and then. After all, we’re only human. If you double-book a party, make up for it in another way. The lesson for us is to do the right thing and make things right.

  2. Don’t build your business on someone else’s land.

    There’s a term called
    digital sharecropping that was popularized by the folks at Copyblogger. It’s when you build your business on someone else’s land. If you’re one of the poor souls who opted to create a Facebook page INSTEAD of building your own website, this is a painful lesson.

    The best thing to do is to invest in assets that you own like your website, blog, and email list. You can then drive traffic to your website from any emerging platforms and social channels without being impacted by things you don’t have control over.

  3. Be where your customers are.

    If there is a mass exodus of Facebook users, where would they go next? Maybe none of your customers will #deletefacebook. The important lesson here is to start gaining a
    deeper understanding of your best customers.

    If you’re not sure whether you should get on Instagram, Snapchat, or other emerging social platforms, ask your guests what they use and what they like about it.  

Technology and the way people use it is constantly evolving. We just have to keep learning and adapting. In business and in life, something good always seems to come out of something “bad”. It might take a significant event to wake people up and start doing things better. I’m sure that’ll be the case for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

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