3 Simple steps to manage Facebook ethics
Social media is now an integral part of our lives and businesses, but what was a fight between Facebook and the Australian Government is now a fight (ironically) which has gone viral involving each and every one of us.
In 2006 a friend of mine was studying at Harvard and sent me a link to her Facebook page which shared mainly her photos of life on Campus. I unwittingly was drawn into the vortex of the viral spread of Facebook. Since 2006, Facebook has been a way for people to connect with one another whether they a friend or foe, share ideas, and more recently discover news and important community announcements about everything from bushfires, cyclones, and Covid-19. Other apps have come to market, and are used by different generations. I could never understand Snap Chat, but Snap Chat is now used by millennials to see who is around on school holidays. Reddit used to galvanise amateur investors vs the might of Wall Street hedge funds.
If the Facebook saga doesn't seem ethical or resonate with you, what can your not-for-profit organisation do?
Rachel Pearson from Collaborative Media Group explains that "since Facebook changed its algorithm to benefit “the people” and not businesses, only 2% of your audience actually see your posts organically". This is clearly a drive to make organisations spend money to boost posts and reach.
1 - Diversification is better than 2%
With new Facebook algorithms giving such poor results, why bother pouring money into Mark Zuckerberg's pockets?
Try diversifying your social media to match your audience.
Try thinking about the age group you want to target and which channels work better to reach them. Recently I joined TikTok to keep an eye on what my kids were posting. It's a pretty simple platform to use a little bit of video content, and select a tune which an algorithm matches to the visual. With the right hashtags and some quirky content - you can reach thousands of views (or more) in minutes. Admittedly it mightn't connect with a 40+ demographic, but if you are trying to engage with a younger cohort - you can see what I mean.
2 - Review how you invest
Oliver Trusler from Australian and New Zealand asset consultants Research IP explains that there is a big rush at the moment for investors wanting to invest in more sustainable and socially responsible ways. With charities managing billions in investment corpuses to fund good he says "why would you put your money into companies that are against what your organisation is trying help or solve?"
Trusler adds, "You mightn't think you own Facebook shares, but you most likely do. Most international fund managers own the company."
"Even if you invest in ETFs which copy the S&P500. The FAANGs represent around 25% of the top 500 companies (by size) in the US" he said. Trusler said charities can ask their adviser, or even visit www.research-ip.com and create a login to review investments themselves.
3 - Comparing old fashioned emails or snail mail?
Monash University Research Fellow Peter Slattery published last year comparing emails to snail mail. With snail mail or physical letters being far more expensive (and possibly bad for the environment); they should only be used for special occasions.
Aside from the cost and environmental impact, email allows you to measure additional outcomes, such as:
Further, Slattery says "you can also measure metrics for email more easily and automatically than you can with letters – an important consideration for pilot-testing, monitoring and evaluation. For example, you can often easily track the percentage of intended receivers who:
Follow your Ethics
These are the 3 simple steps everyone of us can do if we don't believe Facebook has acted ethically. The recent events highlight the even greater importance it is to manage your community of supporters. It is even more important for us to stay connected through multiple channels and share your story.
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