What the recent Facebook fallout means for business advertisers

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In March 2018, Facebook found itself in a heap of trouble. Political consulting company Cambridge Analytica was able to improperly access the data of more than 87 million  Facebook users. While Cambridge Analytica is under investigation, Facebook has shouldered the brunt of the furor over its security and data settings.

Facebook’s controversy and legal troubles mean more than updates to its user agreement. It signals significant changes to the platform, which affect the businesses that rely on it to generate leads.

Not sure how to handle the Facebook fallout? Here’s what the Facebook controversy means for your business.

Facebook Ads and Fallout

Less Facebook users

Facebook users are understandably outraged about the breach of privacy. In the wake of the Facebook scandal, the #DeleteFacebook movement encourages people to delete their accounts, swearing off the platform entirely for ruining their trust.

With more and more users fleeing Facebook, that’s bad news for business. There are fewer eyeballs on your content, which means you have to work double time to make up the difference.

Changes to data and reporting in Facebook Ads

The good news about the Facebook scandal is that their data protections should change for the better. This is fantastic news for Facebook users, although it does mean businesses could have fewer data points at their fingertips than they did previously.

The great thing about increased data protections is that they improve customer trust. And that inevitably means more folks will come to Facebook. That might even lead to a Golden Age of Facebook, but time will tell. For now, users are wary of Facebook, and that’s important to keep in mind.

Increased ad spend

The most painful symptom of having fewer users on Facebook is increased ad spend. If there are fewer people in your target audience, you’ll have to spend more time, and more money on your campaign to ensure the message sinks in. Ads will need to be optimized with the utmost care to get the same amount of leads that you once had.

It’s going to be a quality war as always, but the price will be an even more critical factor to increase your reach.

Although some businesses are leaving Facebook entirely, many of them are staying, so expect your competition to get fiercer.

The rise of alternative PPC platforms

If users aren’t on Facebook anymore, where are they going? Twitter and Pinterest are the most popular Facebook-free alternatives that offer robust PPC platforms. Shrewd businesses are flocking to these platforms to take advantage of new users. Google Adwords also sees a boost since search engine traffic is never going out of style.

If you don’t want the competition of Facebook Ads, consider more budget-friendly alternative PPC campaigns through Twitter, Pinterest, or Adwords.

The bottom line

Is this data scandal the end of Facebook? Not at all. At the end of the day, Facebook Ads still has a large audience and generates ROI. Understand that the scandal will have implications for how you use the platform as a business, but know that it can still help you score more leads.