This recent Forbes article on Why Facebook is in Decline should be a wake-up call to businesses and marketers using social media. Five observations:
1. Facebook is not a social media strategy
Facebook is only part of a social media strategy. Too many companies do "Facebook only" campaigns and loyalty offers. That means your target audience is not even just people-with-Facebook-accounts but people-with-active-Facebook-accounts.
2. Facebook is not your website
Every thing you post on Facebook should be available on your website, with space for commentary. Never, ever use Facebook instead of your corporate site. Huge, lazy mistake. Content is valuable, own it, and spread it around.
3. Facebook is not a free channel
Facebook is increasingly pay-to-play with its "Promoted posts". What does that mean? That means it's barely any different from conventional advertising. If you're paying to reach eyeballs, you're buying media space. That makes you an advertiser, not a "Friend", of the people viewing your page. Advertising can of course be effective. But don't kid yourself that you're down-with-the-kidz because you're not. You're a commercial player.
4. Facebook is not a relaxed social refuge
People are sick of "real identity". They have realised the drawbacks of revealing their real identities online, and that's only going to intensify as concerns over government surveillance and censorship increase. Increasingly, social media users crave anonymity and pseudonymity. That doesn't make them any less valuable as consumers. "SydneyGuy67" has the same spend, budget and tastes as "Mark.Lewis.1967".
5. Facebook is not cool
If you're trying to reach younger demographics, Facebook is not cool. Possibly it never was, given it started with university-age students, not even high schoolers. But young people in particularly are fleeing it in droves, because the social media world is their oyster, and nosey aunties and grandmothers aren't on SnapChat and Vine and DeviantArt. Yet.