Friday, June 8, 2012

The War Against Facebook Pt. 2


As a recap, Facebook is in the midst of a true sink or swim year as they are experiencing the climax of bad press that has been building up over the years surrounding privacy issues, viruses, and people getting tired of the service. 

One important thing to note is that Facebook is a behemoth. They will hit 1 billion members absent deus ex machina. All I'm pointing out is that the service is poised for a fall now that it has hit a high peak. Could they overcome? Sure, but at this rate, it is more likely that Facebook has trying times ahead of them, and they should be prepared for the worst.

What would I do if I was their head of public relations? While I am no expert, I have observed that the most successful businesses that have achieved a high level of popularity always find unique and interesting ways to solve their problems. 

Facebook has to seriously deal with their problem of their servers not being able to accommodate so many users, causing a lot of bugs and slowdowns to ensue. Expanding their servers is a legitimate problem for Facebook, but it must be done in order for the site to keep its users happy. They need to acknowledge the problem in the press and own up to it, showing everyone that they are making steps to improve the service.

When it comes to Facebook's privacy issues, it would be counterproductive for them to diminish the issue as they have been. They've taken great steps already to making their privacy settings easy for people to understand and apply to their profiles, but people still blame the site for not being transparent. Instead of ignoring these complaints or just addressing the issue through a press release, Facebook needs to find a way to turn this weakness into a strength.

The same goes with the site recently buying Instagram and offering its own Instagram clone. The problem is perception. People see Facebook trying to be "everything to everyone" through moves like this, and all it does is drive away users. It wasn't a bad move for Facebook to buy Instagram. Far from it. The real problem is that Facebook is allowing itself to be seen as a lackluster site that is buying up the competition. Both are essentially untrue, but that is what the conversation is becoming, and when enough people are saying something, enough people are believing it. 

Facebook can't control the conversation, but they can guide it. Their current strategy has been to distract its users from its drawbacks by constantly delivering new content that matches their rivals. That isn't enough anymore. The site needs to win back its loyal users that people like me join Facebook to connect with. As soon as my friends aren't on Facebook, I won't be on Facebook, and that rings true for many other people. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Image Credit:


No comments: