Quitting Facebook: Will It Hurt Business?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In this digital age, it seems like everyone and everything has a Facebook page.

The social media platform can also be a valuable tool for companies to market themselves to potential customers.

However, one downtown Sioux Falls business made the announcement Wednesday that they are leaving Facebook, as well as its subsidiary Instagram.

“Attention friends, followers, lovers and haters.”

That’s how Zandbroz Variety store started off – what is presumed to be – their final post on Facebook.

The company is leaving the social media platform, stating, “We’re over it.”

The post didn’t give an exact reason, but linked is a New York Times article on Facebook’s new facial recognition technology.

“There’s a lot of widespread privacy concerns, so we have to wonder where this technology is going, and what purposes it might have in the future,” said Heather Smith, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota.

The company responded to a KDLT interview request via email, stating:

“Why we will delete our Facebook and Instagram accounts:

1. Facebook played fast and loose with the data they’ve collected from all of our profiles, putting us all at risk personally and possibly nationally.
2. The direction the platform seeks for the future is something we wish to opt out of, and currently it seems the way to do that is to remove ourselves and our ad dollars.

That’s really it.”

Zandbroz’s decision to leave Facebook was mostly met with surprise and support online.

But in a digital age where so many businesses use the platforms to market their products and their company will the move off of social media hurt business?

Digital marketing experts say: not likely.

“I think that if a business decides that they don’t want to participate in that particular medium, they might be missing an opportunity to build community, but it’s not going to be the one thing that makes their business fail,” said Emily Sorenson, Digital Marketing Director for Henkin Schultz.

Zandbroz only specifically vowed to leave the Facebook-owned platforms, leaving a variety of other popular and growing options for online marketing.

Yet in the heart of downtown Sioux Falls, one of their biggest customer draws is the “Open” sign out front.