05 Aug Facebook Hates Small Businesses
I have written about Facebook marketing a lot over the years. In fact, I just wrote about it a few weeks ago. However, I’m here to tell you that using Facebook to market your small business could end up costing you dearly, because Facebook hates small businesses.
Think I’m being hyperbolic?
I’m not. And I have a story to prove it.
My brother Nikolas owns a thriving massage therapy practice in Cape May County, NJ. Lucky for him, his wife Yvonne owns a small digital marketing agency. She handles his website and social media marketing so he can focus on what he does best.
A couple of weeks ago, they awoke to learn that Nikolas’s Facebook Page had been hacked. It happened around 5am EST when normal people are still sleeping. Yvonne had been removed as the page’s Business Manager.
The hacker was able to easily bypass the two-factor authentication, and Facebook was zero help. So Yvonne took things into her own hands.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s her story:
Facebook hates small businesses
“Two-factor authentication is supposed to be a cyber security best-practice. If, like my husband, you have opted for the SMS method, a hacker pretending to be you, can simply click “I no longer have access to the device which you sent my code to” and BINGO, s/he is in.
“By the time my husband woke up, the hacker had changed the phone number tied to his Facebook account so that access codes were no longer being sent to him.
“Facebook even sent two emails that morning letting us know where the hacker was physically. “Hi Nikolas, Your Facebook password was changed at 5:25AM around Canby, Oregon US,” followed by “Hi Nikolas, Your Facebook password was changed at 8:22AM around Richmond, Washington US”.
“Could they have known Nikolas was getting hacked? D*mn straight.
“My husband tried everything we could find online. Yes, he submitted his date of birth and ID to Facebook through an online form. Infuriating automatic email responses were sent to him, leading him through an endless loop.
“Using my Facebook Business account, I online chatted with a Facebook (human?) representative to regain access to the account. I got nowhere. My husband’s Facebook identity, along with his two business pages, was stolen, and we were the ones being punished.
“In the end, I had an aha moment. I hacked the hacker by logging in and clicking “I no longer have access to the device which you sent my code to” and TADA! We got the account back.
Facebook will not help you if you get hacked
“Hackers have a number of motivations. Once, a jilted ex tried to hack me. He didn’t get very far.
“But if you are a business owner, you have a lot more at stake. The hacker could be a competitor in your industry, trying to steal your credit card info or trying to ruin your reputation. If your social media accounts have a massive following, the hacker might even ask for a monetary ransom. All your relationships, the community you’ve built, all your hard work – gone. FACEBOOK WILL NOT HELP YOU.
“If you have never been hacked, knock on wood right now. Realizing someone has been rummaging through your digital life is just as nauseating as having your home ransacked by a thief. And unlike your physical home, ANYONE is hackable. Your email address is already HALF of the confidential information they need.
“A couple of ways to keep yourself safe:
- Use a separate, less publicly known email address for your social media accounts so in case you are hacked, you don’t lose everything in one fell swoop.
- Clean your contact list frequently and ruthlessly. The weakest links in your Facebook friends list are the inactive users.
- Be very cautious when proceeding with online help found on forums. We found several phone numbers and email addresses listed on proper Facebook Help Community pages. These were not official Facebook sources, and they will ask you for extremely personal information in order to “help” you.
- If you are using Facebook for business purposes, be sure you have a Business account. You will receive better customer service (even if it’s of no actual help).”
There are so many reasons to hate Facebook – now you have one more
Yvonne and I both wince when we use Facebook. This Mashable article sums up the reasons we hate Facebook:
“… The urge to delete your account isn’t unwarranted from an ethical standpoint. Take your pick of Facebook’s problematic behaviors: Its unconvincing attempt to tackle Russian interference in the 2016 election; the Cambridge Analytica scandal that revealed how much data Facebook was taking from its users; “fake news” and the spread of misinformation; its role in facilitating hate speech.”
In their new book, An Ugly Truth, authors and journalists Sheera Frankel and Cecilia Kang detail how the platform enables hate and disinformation while the company’s own Nero, I mean, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, fiddles while Rome burns. “Zuckerberg tends to believe that free speech will drown out bad speech,” they write.
How … quaint.
But back to being a small business owner. Are you prepared to have your Facebook Page hacked and your credit card information stolen? How will that affect your brand’s reputation, your community, your marketing strategy, your bank account and your sanity?
Is it worth it?
That’s not a rhetorical question. The answer is, “NO!”
How to ditch Facebook marketing
Facebook is not your only marketing channel. What other social media platforms are you using? Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat?
(Yvonne reminded me that all those platforms can be hacked as well. The key is to take digital security seriously, for every platform you’re on. And for the love of god, DO NOT EVER use the same login and password for multiple platforms!)
And what about other marketing channels? Are you podcasting or doing email marketing?
Now that you have a list of all the ways you’re communicating with your audience, study the metrics. Which work best? This might be a great time to cull your channels and really focus your efforts on one or two that provide the most reach and engagement.
You have your new channels picked out, so it’s time to announce that you are leaving Facebook. Feel free to say why. Heck, feel free to reference this blog post.
Share your announcement on all your channels more than once. And let your audience on Facebook know where to reach you.
You can temporarily deactivate your account, but we’ve come this far. Delete it permanently.
Doesn’t that feel better?