Over 1,000 major brands have been convinced by Stop Hate for Profit to pull advertising from Facebook and some other social media companies. This is due to the fact that Facebook's content policies don't do enough to remove racist and hateful content from its platform. Some people are questioning whether this is the end of Facebook and, while that may seem like a dramatic statement, there's no doubt it will have an impact on the business as the vast majority of Facebook's revenue comes from ads.
There are many small to medium sized businesses however who won't feel they can join the boycott as they can't afford to advertise elsewhere. Really, this is an opportunity for big brands to re-think their advertising spend as many may be reconsidering their Facebook plan after the boycott.
This could be the time for brands to develop their own community platforms that aren’t all about commoditising human relationships. These can be positive places based on the values of the brand where like-minded people can come together. If you have your own platform, you can invest in long-term customer relationships by creating a community for your target audience, in comparison to Facebook which is based on short-term goals. By prioritising customer retention over acquisition, brands can build stronger relationships with existing customers and drive engagement. In turn, those loyal customers will become raving fans who will happily spread the word about your business! Easy! Ad spend freed up!
So, where to re-direct that spend? As pointed out in this article, there are many media sites that are providing high-quality and 'neutral' ad experiences. With the continued news of more journalist job cuts and publications struggling, could redirecting marketing/advertising spend from FB to media advertising help bring back some neutrality to our feeds and save the struggling media industry?
News sites such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian have well-constructed ad experiences alongside considered editorial policies, compared to Facebook’s ‘neutral’ – yet demonstrably harmful – network of clickbait and malicious falsehood.