A look at why brands are leaving the platform and how you’ll be impacted
You will have read in the news recently that big, established brands have pulled their advertising spend from Facebook in “the biggest platform boycott known to date”. It’s a huge drama and an important moment in history for society and the industry, but what’s it all about, exactly?
The move is part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign that launched in June 2020, with the purpose of de-funding companies and platforms who benefit from spreading hate speech. As anyone is free to write anything they like on Facebook, controversial or incorrect posts can spread across the platform super quickly, and far-right content from unverified sources can look as trustworthy as the legit news, Facebook was front-of-mind when brands began to stop their ad deals.
But what does this mean for you? As brands such as Diageo, Unilever and Starbucks are stopping their spend with Facebook and across social media completely, this also means that sponsored content with creators like you is taking a hit. Brands are waking up to this absolute trash-fire of a year, and realising they don’t want to spend their money on platforms where their promotions could be sandwiched between problematic posts from extremist groups, or the current President of the United States. Sigh.
Unfortunately, this means that even the inoffensive among us who just enjoy posting about things that make us happy, will struggle to secure new partnerships with leading brands. However, smaller businesses who rely on Facebook marketing and partnerships to be able to sell their products won’t be able to afford to press pause on their social media advertising.
As businesses will want to be extra careful with their money and only give it to platforms and people they believe in, it’s never been more important for you to understand your audience – you’ll need to be clear and confident when telling brands who will be seeing and reacting to their partnerships with you. You can use InChief’s FITTY index and suite of analytics to get some in-depth audience information, and track how your content is performing.
Be proactive. Reach out to brands you already have relationships with and highlight how their message can be promoted via your platforms (especially if you have a blog, this is the time to show off your SEO skills), what you stand for, and how you’re continuing to be supportive of minority communities and are striving to promote equality. This is where your authenticity will shine. Companies are looking at how they can support Black creators, and how their spend can be used to affect positive change rather than fund more hate speech. They need solutions, and what could be more appealing than you providing them one, right in their inbox?
Other platforms like TikTok and Pinterest are great options for replatforming any planned partnerships – if a brand is talking to you about pausing a campaign, try and offer them other solutions. You can always use this time to step up your YouTube content, or focus on money you earn from newsletter subscriptions or affiliate links.
It’s important to remember, though, that this is a pivotal moment in the history of our civil rights. You can also use your platform to campaign for change, to promote petitions and to raise money for important charities. It’s not the right time for lighter, fluffier advertising content – we all need to read the room and give the superficial stuff a backseat for now, while more important matters are amplified.