In protest of Facebook’s content moderation practices and subsequent spread of misinformation during the Black Lives Matter protests, companies like Patagonia, The Northface and Ben & Jerry’s have joined the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which boycotts paid advertising on Facebook’s platforms. Surging ad prices, overstated metrics and numerous issues during the 2016 election have increased advertisers’ mistrust of the platform. 

But what does this mean for smaller brands that need to answer the same questions as bigger brands without putting their entire business at risk? 

Here are three ways brands can reexamine their relationship with Facebook: 

  • Take back control. Coupled with Facebook’s unwillingness to curb misinformation, the platform’s declining relevance with younger consumers is pushing advertisers to look elsewhere. Many younger, more digitally-savvy audiences have stopped using the platform. While many brands rely on Facebook to reach a wider audience, aligning with smaller platforms whose policies match their own could lead to more ROI and better brand alignment. It might be hard to do, but there are lesser evils than Facebook. 
  • Don’t stop advertising—change it. Facebook’s eight million advertisers are mostly smaller businesses that rely on the platform to stay alive. Instead of opting out of advertising entirely, brands should look for ways to use their social media presence to showcase the stories of BIPOC team members and customers. A quick scroll through any prevalent brand’s Instagram reveals the lack of representation of non-white models and influencers in advertising, though many brands are pledging to change that.Influencer agencies are also providing guidelines on how companies can diversify their feeds. Brands now have the opportunity to change their creative to include underrepresented populations and reshape advertising norms in the process, versus opting out of some forms of advertising entirely.
  • Reinvest advertising funds into meaningful action. Brands halting Facebook advertising outright are missing one crucial point: What are they going to do with the newfound money? Companies need to permanently divert some of their ad spend to promote diversity from within. Adding a diversity and inclusion officer, hiring and promoting more people of color and making sure the brand looks and feels like the diverse customer base it serves will benefit the organization more in the long run than any Facebook ad. Companies that do the work now to create a lasting culture of inclusion will build a stronger organization for the future. Most can find resources to support these efforts, regardless of a brand’s size.

The Stop Hate for Profit initiative is a great start in pressuring Facebook and other powerful platforms to take ownership of their role in fighting misinformation. But the focus should quickly turn inwards as brands of all sizes need to examine what they can be doing to make a difference, beyond a one month boycott.