Director of Client Services, 8+ Years of Client-Facing Project Management & Digital Marketing Expertise
January 3rd, 2019
For both our personal lives and businesses, we’ve become pretty dependent as a society on Facebook -- But, things have changed quite a bit over the years.
What used to be a great way for businesses to connect with fans and people that wanted to hear from you has now turned into primarily paid advertising.
In addition to monetizing the information it has on users, 2018 was a difficult year in privacy for Facebook, namely the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Other companies have had breaches too, of course, so we can’t just complain about Facebook, but this continual news feed of data breaches has made consumers afraid to share their personal information online, in turn, changing our habits.
Where we used to be open to giving even basic information, like an email and name, many users now will just find the information elsewhere.
With all of this uncomfortable use of personal data and the fear of breaches, it’s no surprise that many people opt to delete Facebook for personal use -- but what if a company decided to make that choice?
At the end of December, Basecamp did just that.
The company’s Founder & CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson, posted an article stating their intentions and reasoning behind becoming a “Facebook-Free Business.”
Wait -- What Do You Mean “Facebook-Free Business?”
For a while, there’s been the user-driven #deletefacebook for personal profiles, but nothing on the same level for businesses - because it’s remained a necessity (some would consider a necessary evil) - until Basecamp’s announcement.
Not only are they making a statement by deleting their profiles, but they’re asking others to join them.
“Being a Facebook-Free Business means your customers can trust that you aren’t collaborators with the Facebook machine. That when you spend your money with a Facebook-Free Business, none of that money will find its way back to Facebook’s coffers.” DHH writes.
To really boil it down to the simplest reason, their Instagram page tagline says, “We make web software and believe in responsible and ethical business practices, so we won’t be using Instagram anymore.”
We do not buy advertising on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp.
We do not use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp to promote or represent our business or to communicate with our customers.
We do not assist Facebook in its data collection regime through use of Facebook social Like buttons or by offering Facebook logins.
Basecamp even went as far as creating a “Facebook-Free Business” badge to be linked back to the original article stating the intent of being “Facebook-Free.”
“I Should Delete My Business’ Facebook!” … Not So Fast
Let’s be honest - deleting Facebook is a pretty big move; One that should be carefully considered before diving in.
Basecamp has the brand name and recognition enough to support them from other sources, but frankly, it may not be the same for your business.
Is your audience responding to what you’re posting or advertising on Facebook? Does it deliver results? Is it worth your time and effort?
Does your audience value security? Would it potentially respond positively to making a ‘privacy’ campaign for your business?
Certainly, some could benefit from joining Basecamp in deleting Facebook based on how their audience would react, but, others find it to be essential to running their business at this point in time.
Take this announcement as an opportunity to consider what it would be like for your business to be Facebook-Free.
IMPACT is tied with Facebook from a community standpoint, through IMPACT Elite.
We built this space to be a spot for others to connect on digital marketing (not just with us) and Facebook seemed like the perfect place to start it at the time.
For IMPACT, now isn’t quite the right time for us to “join the movement” but with everything else in our changing digital world, it’s not off the table entirely.
There may be a point in time that there’s another location that’s more helpful and useful to our community members. Because IMPACT Elite is about the members (not us), we are open to cultivating a space that’s as helpful as possible.
The same should be said of your business. In our ever-evolving space, you may not be tied to Facebook or any platform for that matter. You need to keep your eyes and ears open. Listen to your audience and to the changes happening around you and always be ready to pivot.
Will this change stick for Basecamp? It seems as though they intend to make this a forever change, but we’ll certainly be keeping our eye out to see how things develop.