My Company Is Leaving Facebook. And So Can Yours.

Facebook goes against our moral code as a company, and the clicks we get rarely result in conversions.

learn more about Göran Wågström

By Göran Wågström

SOPA Images | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We believe Facebook is bad for us -- not just from a practical perspective, but from a moral one. We can no longer, with good conscience, participate on a platform whose ethics are exactly counter to ours. Even beyond the Cambridge Analytica scandal, news continues to paint a grim picture of the digital empire that is Mark Zuckerberg's.

Related: Facebook Admits Using Two-Factor Phone Numbers to Target Ads

While we originally used the platform because we felt it would be natural to reach out to those that might be looking for a safer, saner alternative for connection and collaboration, we were overlooking the most important point. Facebook goes against our moral code as a company. Idka is, after all, providing a platform that allows users to express themselves and share with chosen groups, without misusing personal information. Privacy is at the heart of what we do. Moreover, Facebook ads don't actually work the way you may think they do.

The practical side

As a marketer, it was difficult to imagine life without a Facebook page, or some kind of presence on the world's largest social network. Social media, after all, has long replaced traditional media as a vehicle to gain market visibility. With roughly 2 billion Facebook users out there (depending on which studies you believe) you would think that running an ad campaign on the platform would bring plenty of eyeballs to your brand. Many will tell you that to delete Facebook is to commit marketing suicide.

And then there's the real world.

There's a difference between traffic and clicks. Upon closer look, not many of the clicks we got from updates and ads actually led to conversions. In fact, many of those so-called Facebook users who "liked" our page, had questionable profiles to begin with. Were we being seduced into spending more money on Facebook ad campaigns to keep up the clicks?

The reality is, only a small percentage of your audience, even people who have liked your page, will see your content. Just because your content is in their newsfeeds does not mean there is any guarantee that they will see it. Actual engagements are expensive, as high as $10 each -- too expensive, in my book, in light of the alternatives out there.

Related: Why Google and Facebook Should Be Treated Like Banks

Facebook could actually be hurting your brand.

The algorithms that Facebook has created, essentially to direct traffic, could actually be hindering your ability to reach your target audience. Why? A large percentage of the "likes" we were getting were "fake" -- meaning that they were coming from Facebook accounts that were simply set up to like pages. Click farms, as they are called, are usually set up in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, where people get paid to click and like pages.

These audiences aren't there to engage with your brand. And, when Facebook sees a large number of likes coming from a certain audience, they show your ad to similar people. This takes away visibility from smaller groups that could actually be more relevant to your brand. In other words, Facebook stops showing your content to audiences that are more likely to engage, i.e. click or sign up.

Own your data.

By now it's no secret that Facebook is home to (and owner of) a world of data. This also means that, with a company page on the platform, you are essentially giving away your audience to Facebook, and you really don't know what happens to your audience's data. You don't own any of it. With GDPR in play, it also means you are jointly responsible for any data breaches or misuse of that data, even if the data breach is Facebook's fault and you had no control. Bottom line, that's too risky.

Related: Facebook's Answer to E.U. Privacy Law: Accept Data Collection and Ads, or Don't Use Facebook

It's depth, not breadth that matters.

No matter how much time we spend running around chasing likes and clicks, we cannot forget that our real fans are our most valuable allies. When I say real, I mean those who are actually interested in our product. We need to steadily engage those people. This means deepening our conversations with the community who cares about what we are offering, rather than trying to reach millions at a time. In other words, better to have meaningful dialogue with 1,000 potential fans, than attempt to convert millions at a time with general messaging and broad reaching campaigns that deliver minimal success.

Along with a deeper engagement, building a stronger connection with existing users and customers will help spread our message more effectively than any social media campaign -- slower maybe, but the end result will undoubtedly be stickier. Engagement involves listening to feedback, improving service -- ultimately producing a product that is superior and better suited to the users we want to keep.

The conclusion we've come to is simple. Less emphasis on what's bought, manipulated and fake ... and more attention to what's real and true to our core vision and values.

Göran Wågström

CEO of Idka

Göran Wågström spent 20 years as an executive at Ericsson, and later was CEO of International Highway/Adcore. He is an advisor and investor for a variety of IT companies, with a master's in industrial engineering and Management from Luleå University of Technology and in executive management from INSEAD.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Money & Finance

What Is a Good Credit Score and How Do I Get One?

Is bad credit holding you back? This article explains what constitutes a good credit score and how to raise your score if it's low.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Thought Leaders

The Collapse of Credit Suisse: A Cautionary Tale of Resistance to Hybrid Work

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for business leaders to adapt to the changing world of work and prioritize their workforce's needs and preferences.

Business Solutions

Learn to Build a ChatGPT Bot for Only $30

If you want to see what AI can do for your business, grab this course bundle today.


6 Myths About Leadership That May Be Holding You Back

By dispelling these leadership myths, we can create a more realistic and nuanced understanding of what it means to be an effective leader.