UPDATED: The Unfriend Alert application is safe for Facebook users, after all, as Pieter Arntz of Malwarebytes Labs amended a blog post that initially reported that the app skimmed users’ login information.
Arntz wrote in the updated blog post:
Here at Malwarebytes, we do our best at pointing out the facts and true dangers behind all online threats, although we are only human, and very rarely we can be overzealous in our attempts to inform our users of online threats. Unfriend Alert reached out to us after this blog post to let us know what our analysis was incorrect, and upon further inspection, it turns out that our initial belief that Unfriend Alert was possibly stealing Facebook credentials was incorrect.
Unfriend Alert works by storing a copy of your friends list on your computer. To access your friends list, you need to be logged into Facebook. Unfriend Alert launches a standard Web browser component from within its application that opens a standard Facebook login page. This is hosted by Facebook on Facebook servers. Credentials that are typed into this page are sent directly to Facebook and are not seen by or captured by our software in any way.
Readers: Have you ever been burned by surrendering your Facebook login info?
Have you ever thought of pulling your business off of Facebook?
Surely you’ve heard of Eat24who broke up with Facebook in a letter on their blog that expressed how much things have changed and how Facebook used to make them feel special but now they just feel disrespected by the social giant.
Or maybe you caught wind of when content marketing tool Copyblogger quit Facebook because they were unhappy with their organic reach.
Both of these company’s had their reasons for breaking up with Facebook.
Personally, we think this was a poor decision, but hey, we’re not judging.
We’re here to share with you the five reasons why we, here at ShortStack, would never unfriend Facebook.
#1. Facebook Drives Traffic to Our Website
Have you looked at your Google Analytics lately?
As Facebook Page admins it can be hard to not sit and stare at our Facebook insights and bang our head against the wall trying to figure out how to put those silly numbers in the green.
But when I look at our Google Analytics for our company website something interesting always happens: Facebook wins.
In fact, since January 1, 2014, 72% of our social referrals have come from Facebook.
Considering that the only place we link back to ShortStack is from our About section, I was pretty surprised to see the difference between Facebook and other networks.
To discover which of your social networks is driving traffic to your site, login to your Google Analytics.
On the left-hand side click on “Acquisition”
Then click on “Social”
Then click on “Overview”
From here you can adjust your timeframe in the top right-hand corner and get an idea of where your visits from social are coming from. You can also see what pages on your website visitors are landing on when they visit your page from a social network, set up conversion tracking and more.
Google Analytics will provide you with a pre-determined list of social networks, but if you want to customize that list you can do so using Advanced Segment Filters.
#2: Facebook is Our Most Successful Ad Platform
Are you using Facebook’s advertising options?
We believe that in today’s landscape, if you want to have any sort of success on Facebook, you must advertise. At least a little bit.
Plus, when you’re running marketing Campaigns, whether they’re hosted on Facebook or not, putting just a small amount of money behind them can make them much more successful.
For the last year we’ve been testing a variety of online advertising options.
We’ve tested Facebook only ads, Twitter ads and using advertising services such as AdRoll and Buy/Sell Ads.
While each experiment brought us some attention, we quickly noticed when we used a service such as AdRoll and Buy/Sell Ads that the ads they were placing for us on Facebook brought us more conversions than ads placed anywhere else online.
#3: Able to Reach More of Our Audience
Even though Facebook reach has declined, Facebook is still a place where 864 million people actively visit each day.
We currently have more than 74,000 fans and while we’re not reaching all of them all the time, we are reaching between 45,000 and 60,000 of our fans each week. That’s an average of 67% of our fans, not too shabby if you ask me.
Once we did this, our reach increased 219% in just 30 days and our engagement grew 171%.
So each week, because of Facebook, we’re communicating on some level with more than half of our fans.
It’d be silly to walk away from all of those potential leads!
#4: Facebook is Only One Part of Our Puzzle
The biggest reason we would never “unfriend” Facebook is because Facebook is not the end all be all for us.
For a long time ShortStack was a Facebook based-product: in order to run apps or tabs on Facebook and we had literally put all of our eggs (or pancakes) in Facebook’s basket.
Needless to say, we understand that old habits die hard.
It can be difficult to change a strategy, especially if at one point that strategy was working so well. Most businesses will do everything they can to try and get back to where they were before investigating new options.
However, Facebook has become just one part of our puzzle.
We used to rely on Facebook to send new eyes to our blog, now we rely on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, referrers and our website.
We used to be able to promote a new feature or product on Facebook and see an immediate response from it. Now we put more emphasis on other aspects, such as email marketing and public relations.
We used to host all of our marketing Campaigns on Facebook but now we focus on placing them on the web where anyone can access them from anywhere. Not only is the overall user experience better, but they’re mobile friendly and we don’t have to worry about Facebook’s guidelines.
Facebook is not what it was four years ago. It’s not what it was one year ago. As business owners it’s our job to stay relevant and “roll with the punches.”
Is Facebook the best place for businesses? Maybe not. But it’s also not the worst.
So if you’ve been thinking of “unfriending” Facebook, take a look at the numbers and make sure you’re looking at the bigger picture and not getting caught up in a few numbers that aren’t affecting what matters to your business.
How about you? Would you ever “unfriend” Facebook?