As I write this article, we’re just a week past Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook will soon overhaul its News Feed to prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over content from news sources and brands. Presumably, the goal in this shift is “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.” It’s simple to see that this is fallout—the corporate response—resulting from the infiltration of rogue advertisers that may have impacted the 2016 presidential election, as well as statements from former Facebook staffers acknowledging the platform is built to foster addiction to its use.
What does this mean for those of who run businesses? We are not rogue news sources. We are not gigantic brands with massive budgets. We’re not party to any attempts to make anything addicting, for goodness sakes. We’re just hardworking folks who sell great products and offer top-notch service to our customers/neighbors. We provide thriving places for people to work and build careers, and we contribute to our local communities. Are we still going to be able to use Facebook—with its now 1.54 billion users—to help grow businesses?