If you’re relying on Facebook or Instagram as a primary method to distribute brand content, you need to stop. Stop right now. You may not know this, but in relying on Meta platforms, you are severely limiting your ability to amplify your message, making it difficult for prospects, customers, or media types to reach out.
Recently announced user-loss at Meta and their 200B value implosion aside, these entities serve as more of a barrier to your message than an engagement method. When you distribute links to posts on these platforms, you effectively lock out anyone who doesn’t have an account on these platforms. By the data, that’s an increasing amount of people by the day.
“But Justin, they can still view the link even if they don’t have an account,” you might be saying. NOPE!
It’s true Instagram and Facebook allowed non-users to see links to your content in the past, but times are changing. In the last year, Instagram and Facebook have been redirecting users like me to a login screen that advertises their product and effectively “blocks” the information you wanted someone to see. And here’s the rub: many users have no idea Meta is doing this.
When someone sends me an Instagram link, and I inform them I don’t have an account, they just tell me I should still be able to see it. Not true. If I turn my VPN off, sometimes I can see the relevant post, but even with all security turned off, at times I still can’t see it. I just see a login page (pictured). Moving forward, if Meta can’t track you, they won’t serve you.
If Meta Can’t Track You, They Won’t’ Serve You
“Facebook said Apple changes that made it harder for apps to track iPhone users would cost about $10 billion in advertising revenue this year.” wrote Brett Molina in USA TODAY. But Apple’s not alone. DuckDuckGo relentlessly protects users, making it difficult for websites to track you, Firefox has long fought for user security, and VPN use in the United States is soaring. From 2019 to 2027, the VPN market is expected to grow from $25B to $75B according to Statista. Even Chrome has announced plans to remove cookie tracking, although data-pro Jory Des Jardins, former Head of Global Startup Marketing for Amazon Web Services, believes it’s just because they have better tracking tools.
Do you think your customers, podcasters, and the press are going to disable security and their VPN to see your post? No.
Do you think IT departments that block many of these social media sites are going to unblock them for you? Double Nope!
There is a really simple solution, however: post all updates, videos, photos, etc on your website. Make sure each update, each podcast guest, each product, each FAQ has its own unique URL (link) that you can send to your audience. If your website isn’t ready, or difficult to update, get on that now. There’s no excuse anymore.
Using social media is ok, but only as a method to reach people already on that platform. If your users don’t exclusively use the platform, it’s time to stop depending on it.