Facebook and Lessons in Relationships

I regularly help clients use Facebook effectively. My approach is always to help them build relationships with their target audience. That’s getting harder on Facebook, because the platform seems to have forgotten the value of relationships.

Any good relationship is built on trust. The expectation is that the other party will respect the parts of yourself you chose to share with them. When they don’t, you have two choices: give them a second chance or end the relationship.

Facebook’s relationship with some of its users has gone downhill since the 2016 presidential election. The news was bad through 2018 and things aren’t looking much better in 2019.

A recent Pew Research study found that 54 percent of all Facebook users over the age of 18 have increased their privacy settings, while 42 percent have taken a break from the platform for several weeks or longer.

These percentages increase in younger users, who increasingly seem to be breaking up with Facebook. According to Pew:

  • 44% of users between 18 and 29 have deleted the app from their phone
  • 64% of younger users have tightened their security

While a number of Facebook users remain, it’s clear that the social network will have to take some measures to earn back the public’s trust. In the meantime, marketers need to pay attention to how this impacts their efforts. If their core audience is migrating away from Facebook and toward other options, their strategy needs to do the same.