Further to the recent data turmoil, Facebook, as part of the set of actions, announced changes that would make businesses and media organisations less visible in people’s news feeds. This could impact on businesses that relied on traffic from Facebook to generate sales. Do we need to worry about the change Facebook has made?

The first thing to do in this situation is to try and identify any direct impact Facebook’s change has had on your website. The best way to do this is using Google Analytics. You can quickly see if Facebook’s changes have led to a drop in traffic by navigating Behaviour>Site Content> All Pages, adding a secondary dimension of source/medium and then adding an advanced filter of include source/medium containing Facebook. If you have been using custom tracking tags when posting content to Facebook, then adjust your filter accordingly.

Once you’ve done that, it’s a simple case of adjusting the date range so it fits around the period of the change Facebook made, and then setting a comparison to see what changes have occurred. It’s probably going to be useful to compare the week before the changes to the week after, as well as comparing the week of the changes to the same week from last year. And of course, you can compare the weeks/months after Facebook’s changes to the same week/month of last year to track the longer term effect.

A website is always better than a Facebook page

Facebook pages are easy to set up and allow you to get traffic from one of the biggest websites in the world. So what’s not to love?

Well, if you build your business using a Facebook page alone, then your success is entirely reliant on any changes Facebook makes. Facebook pages are a useful addition to your marketing toolkit, but they can never replace a website over which you have full control.

Better not to be dependent. Never rely on just one marketing channel

Even if you do already have a website, it’s important that you don’t rely too heavily on one channel to promote it. Why? Well, for the same reasons you shouldn’t run a business on Facebook alone – if you’re relying on just one marketing channel, and that channel is controlled by someone else, then there’s a risk that channel will dry up through no fault of your own.

So make sure that all your customers aren’t coming through just one channel. Instead, aim for a balanced approach so that if something does go wrong with one of your marketing channels, you don’t take too big a hit.

It’s also a very good idea to build up an email marketing list – that way, you have a method of contacting existing customers/people who have previously visited your website and provided an email address, without waiting for them to navigate to your site again.

Email marketing is an excellent way to secure your business against the fluctuations that can be caused by marketing through third-party platforms such as Facebook and Google. If you need more information or assistance on this subject, please contact us.