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What the #StopHateForProfit Campaign Means for Your Small-Business – And Your Facebook Ad Campaign.

Let’s be clear before you read further. LHM Strategic in NO way promotes racism and hate.

If you spend any time watching the news or online, you are likely aware of the #stophateforprofit campaign. Global and national businesses like Starbucks, Verizon, Coca-Cola and more (full list here) are taking a stand against the mega social-media platform Facebook by pausing their multimillions in paid ad campaigns on the platform.


“On June 17, we asked companies to act against hate and disinformation being spread by Facebook in our campaign, Stop Hate for Profit. We asked businesses to temporarily pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram in order to force Mark Zuckerberg to address the effect that Facebook has had on our society. While addressing all of Facebook’s issues and implementing all our recommendations will take far longer than one month, we wanted to provide clear steps that Facebook could take immediately that would result in real progress.” – Stop Hate For Profit

Here is part of Mark Zuckerberg’s response:

[Zuckerberg] said the company would change its policies to ban hate speech in advertisements. Those new rules would ban ads that claim people from a specific race, ethnicity, nationality, caste, gender, sexual orientation or immigration origin are a threat to the physical safety or health of anyone else, he said. Zuckerberg also said Facebook would look to stop advertising on the platform which expressed contempt or disgust towards immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.

Facebook’s website states: “We remove hate speech, harassment, threats of violence and other content that has the potential to silence others or cause harm.”

What does this mean for small and medium businesses advertising on Facebook and Instagram?

We can look to paid ads on Facebook during the pandemic for reference. As businesses began shutting down, so did paid ad budgets. This was because of the necessity for companies required to close temporarily. During that time, businesses that maintained paid advertising plans (or started new ones) received more reach and ROI for their efforts. Here is why:

When businesses like Starbucks participate in the #stophateforprofit and pause their paid ads on Facebook they will create more space for the little guy. Let’s face it, not many of us can compete with large corporations ad dollars! This is also less big business branding and noise, and more opportunity for your small business to be noticed.

Yes, we understand this is a campaign to help push Facebook into taking censoring racist content more seriously. However, not all businesses have the luxury of “pausing” their advertising to make this statement. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of small businesses that depend on Facebook Advertising strategy for survival. Stopping paid ads now could have a irreversible negative impact on profits and sustainability—especially since most small businesses were considered nonessential and had to close.

It is however, a good time for these businesses to look into diversifying their digital marketing strategy!

Social media and digital advertising is an important part of businesses worldwide. Paid Ads on Facebook are a cost-effective way to reach target consumers, making sales, generating leads, and keeping the “doors open” for business—even if those are virtual doors.

Again, not all businesses marketing on social media have the luxury of a long-standing brand. Going silent in some cases could make or break your business survival online. These are hard times for everyone and making a decision fitting both your moral beliefs and operational necessities can be difficult. There are many things to consider before you pause and #stophateforprofit.

We are not recommending you ignore the significance of this campaign. Just that you take the time understand the importance of social media advertising to the many small businesses that need it to survive.

Before making your decision, consider the following:

  1. Will continuing paid ads resonate with your online community? If you think your social media community will take offense, then stand down. Create more organic content and remain active on Facebook. Let your followers know your stance against paid ads and encourage them to check into your pages. Let them know thing will help them see more of your unsponsored content.
  2. Can you afford to stop your paid social campaign? If yes, then by all means do so! If no, be sensitive of the times and make sure your content is not tone-deaf. Be as productive with your conversion strategy during this time.
  3. Can you use your paid ads to spread acceptance and anti-racist messaging? Why not use ad dollars for good? Share your company’s stance in your paid social. Drown out the negative content online with an even louder positive and supportive voice!

LHM Strategic is in no way recommending all small businesses ignore the severity of #StopHateForProfit just to gain profit. We are simply sharing some alternative perspectives and insight into the analytics of placing paid ads during this time.

If your business feels strongly about helping, make a statement by pausing your ad spend on Facebook and Instagram. There are a few options for replacing that digital tactic while still maintaining your overall digital marketing plan.

3 Things to consider doing if you pause your paid Ads on Facebook

  1. Move the money elsewhere: Don’t just pause your digital efforts—move them! Our recommendation would be to put your ad budget into Google Ads. Even if you are already advertising with Google, divert your Facebook money there. Ultimately, Google is the one spot you could possibly make up for the missed Facebook impressions.
  2. Reevaluate your Social Media strategy altogether: If you are serious about this stance now might be a good time for looking at your overall digital marketing strategy. Discover what you can add to replace the community and interactivity a robust Facebook or Instagram community offers your brand. Could you become more active on another platform? Twitter or Pinterest maybe?
  3.  Communicate what you are doing and why: Use this opportunity not only to inform your Facebook and Instagram community you are shifting your social presence, but invite them to join you. This could be as simple as starting a newsletter and asking them to stay connected, or revamping your company’s blog. Start sharing current content and important information with your customers and stakeholders.

No matter which choice you make, staying informed and making an active decision either way is important. This is not an easy time for navigating the digital and social-media marketing world. LHM Strategic is happy to chat with you and offer our advice for your best way forward, free of charge. Fill out our contact form here, in the comments, include, “Pausing Social.” Then we follow up to schedule a time to chat!

Our founder is committed to offering small businesses the guidance they need to succeed and THRIVE as entrepreneurs and business owners.

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