Earlier in the day, I saw a tweet impressively capturing the space between proverbial rock and the place where many marketers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) could find.
This tweet was part of an ongoing conversation in response to a recent New York Times survey of previously unreported events that led to Facebook's highly publicized crises and mistakes in recent years.
One speaker suggested that advertisers, those who use Facebook's ad targeting tools to create and promote their businesses, leave the network, cutting the company's largest revenue stream.
What another speaker essentially asked: "But where else can they go?"
However, this story does not address the pros and cons of advertisers leaving Facebook. Rather, it is a story about the initiatives taken by other companies to create new platforms for businesses to establish a broader, even alternative, digital presence.
One of these companies is Google, which announced this week its new Google My Business app. Here's the application – and why it represents a pivotal moment in marketing.
The Google My Business app
The road to this application started a few weeks ago, when Google introduced a new feature in Google Maps that allowed Android users to track a business on this platform.
On the consumer side, development was positioned as a way for users to follow existing favorites and new establishments on Google Maps for Android and mobile search . (It is not known when or if these features will be available to iOS users.)
Source of the picture: Google
On the other hand, the following feature allowed these companies to create a profile and, even if they would not open before three months, to become discoverable.
These features were and are part of the more comprehensive suite of tools in Google My Business, which allows businesses to create and manage those profiles that appear on Google Maps and mobile search results. Google has released a mobile app to manage these profiles.
In one way, the Google My Business app could be likened to a hybrid of page tools for businesses and Facebook. Features include allowing companies to respond to reviews, send and receive messages from customers, and see who follows them on a dedicated "Customers" tab.
Source of the picture: Apple
Otherwise, the Google My Business app offers tools similar to those of other social networks, including Facebook, that allow companies to upload photos, promote offers, create events and create Display participation analyzes.
Source of the picture: Apple
A key period in the history of digital marketing
Timing is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Google's announcement and the launch of this application.
As we mentioned earlier, the Google My Business app was officially unveiled the same day the New York Times published a rather overwhelming report on the inner workings of executive leadership in Facebook, one of the most most used digital networks. marketing tools for small businesses.
This story lasts for six months. It all started with a question: what happened to Facebook over the last three years and what did the leaders, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, do in the aftermath of the crisis that followed the crisis? https://t.co/N6kaDNqfj6
– Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) November 14, 2018
As noted by one of the report's authors, Sheera Frenkel, in the tweet above, it follows years of controversy that the company has been facing.
Facebook's current embroidery period is somewhat worsened by the decline in user confidence in the company, as growth slows in its two most lucrative markets (the United States and Canada) and by a 50% drop in the top business page's commitment. the past year.
When we examine all of these factors, we ask ourselves the following question: is it a catalyst for other networks and platforms, such as Google, in order to create new platforms for businesses and advertisers to reach their customers?
Perhaps – but some say that these new platforms would rely on commercial tools that Facebook had created and developed for some time.
"In the last eight years, Facebook has been a leader in solutions for very small businesses," said Marcus Andrews, HubSpot's Marketing Manager. "His company pages and advertising solutions really appealed to the first entrepreneur."
But now, says Andrews, the landscape has changed – and calls for both a thoughtful approach by Facebook and other potential providers in the digital marketing industry.
"Many factors have helped Facebook gain access to this leading position, but it seems that the company may have to slow down and start being more deliberate about the choices it's making – for good reason," says Andrews. "In the end, this gives an opportunity to some of its major competitors and I think entrepreneurs will go where they see the most opportunities."
Image credit: Google