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Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Trust Facebook

I was a fool for choosing to trust Facebook, an unpaid third party, to hang on to my content.

Think about the last time you walked into an independent retailer or restaurant. Did you notice the sign on the door asking customers to “Like Us on Facebook” or “Become a Fan on Facebook”? Your small business might be doing something very similar right now. And you probably do need to have a Facebook presence: After all, that’s often the first place customers look for small businesses.

Opinion_Bug7If Facebook is the entirety of your web strategy, though, you could be putting yourself in a dangerous position. You probably don’t want to keep sending your valued customers to a third-party website that you neither own nor control. Do you have a contract with Facebook? Do you have any assurance that Facebook will keep hosting your posts about sales? Of course, the answers here are no.

Shortly after I joined Facebook as an individual in 2007, Facebook suggested that I start a business page, where people could become fans instead of friends. Without really thinking or working too hard, I took Facebook’s suggestion and created a business page for MrExcel.com, aimed at people who use Excel. Over time, this page collected 2,000 fans. Conversations happened on the page: One fan would have an Excel problem, and another fan would post an answer. Occasionally, I would drop in with news about an upcoming Excel seminar or a new product.

The page still existed as recently as January 26, 2014. On February 4, 2014, I noticed that the page was gone. Facebook deleted my collection of fans and all the original Excel content — without any notice or warning.

Go to your favorite search engine and type in “Facebook removed.” Modern browsers will suggest the most popular searches. Among the first five, you will find “Facebook removed my business page,” which yields 87 million results:

One thought on “Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Trust Facebook

  1. What is Facebook’s motive for doing this? It’s losing so many users. Arbitrarily removing pages like it does seems so illogical.

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