Short Answer….No, probably not.
When I first started learning about SEO, it was all about the link backs, driving customers thru social media and blogging. So if you would have met me three years ago, I would have told you “YES YES YES! MAKE A FACEBOOK PAGE!”. But a lot of online marketing techniques have changed in just a few years and Facebook recently changed their entire model of the way Facebook pages are fed to a Facebook users wall.
From my own experience with clients whom I’ve done web design for and advertising, and the experience of other online marketers, I’ve come to learn that not every business does need to make a Facebook page. The hassle out weights the benefits in most circumstances. Forbes Magazine seems to agree with me.
- Why do I want to start a Facebook business page?
- How will it benefit my business and how will it benefit my customers?
- Who is my target audience?
What are the commitments with starting a Facebook business page?
Time: you should expect to spend a good amount of time on Facebook and other social media if you expect to get anything out of it. The point of social media is to expose your business and engage with your customers. If you don’t have the time to create engaging content, you will have to spend the money to pay someone who can spend the time. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it. Abandoned, inactive Facebook pages do not look good for a business.
Advertising: In one instance a company had over 6000 likes, but only 1% to 5% of their posts were being shown to the people who had liked their page. If you want exposure of your posts on Facebook, you pretty much have to invest in ad’s. Luckily, it’s not too expensive to get a post shown to a few thousand people. So make sure it’s a post you really want people to see.
Customer Support: A Facebook page has literally become a one stop shop for customer support. Most people find it rather quicker to bring up an inquiry or complaint on Facebook, than to shoot you an email or give you a phone call. This can be bad for business AND good for business. Take a look at any Facebook business page and I am sure you will be able to find a consumer complaint in no time.
A public complaint does not look good for a business who is just starting out. But, it can also be used to show future consumers how well you deal with your consumers. Last year, a local Yakima, WA Water Bottle Company received a nasty comment about customer support and the products he received. The owner of the business fought back the consumer with a comment of his own. In this case, the comment the owner gave created more fans for the business owner just because of his response to the unhappy consumer.
In another case, a cafe business owner in Lake Stevens, WA who kicked a mom and her kids out after they made a few crumbs on the floor made national news. She received a backlash of nasty comments from people all over the world. People whom had never eaten at the cafe and and had biased opinions about the story. As you may or may not know, Facebook business pages allow a rating system for a business from one to 5 stars. A lot of these people started rating her business one star based on the article they read or heard about on the news, not the service they received. I quickly watched what was once a 4.5 star Facebook business page tumble down to 2.5 stars over a short period of time.
What kinds of businesses should start a Facebook page?
Facebook is a place to relax and have fun with your friends and family. People really don’t want to be advertised to on Facebook. So you to get really creative in non standard ways if you want people to share things about your business. So average businesses like roofers or cleaning companies have a real hard time getting their clients engaged unless they have some really cool ideas on how to share their relevant content.
Normally, what people decide to share on Facebook is a direct reflection of who they are. For example: When someone shares a cute video of a baby, what they really are saying is “I like babies, and I think this is cute”. The same concept goes for quotes, photos and news/blog posts. So, give them something worth sharing.
- Restaurants: People love seeing and sharing images of their food
- Clothing & Accessories Companies: People love sharing images of clothes and accessories
- Comedians: People love to share funny stuff
- Bloggers and News Companies: People love to share stories
- Writers / Authors: Writers are naturally good with words, so creating engaging posts just comes natural to them
- Photographers: People love sharing beautiful photos
- eCommerce (in some circumstances)
You might be more surprised about what kind of posts gets shared the most on Facebook.
What other social media outlets are available that I could use for my business?
There are other places other than Facebook that may be better suited for your business. A majority of my clients are businesses that serve their local community like credit unions, fencers, roofers, construction companies, lawyers and title companies. To be truthful (in my humble opinion), companies like this don’t really need social media. But if they absolutely insist on it, my advice to them since they serve the local public, is to use Google plus. Google plus is great for local SEO and talking about local things that are happening and socializing with local people.
- Instagram: Restaurants, Art & Design Company, Architects, Photographers
- Twitter: News Companies, Blogging and Gossip Companies
- Youtube: I like to call Youtube the “how to” visual search engine. Many companies can gain exposure and socialize just by making some “how to” videos. Home Improvement Companies, Cleaning Companies, Garden Nurseries, and even restaurants can make a few “how to” plates of popular dishes
- Pinterest: Restaurants, Home Improvement Companies, eCommerce Stores, Art & Design Businesses, Real Estate, Photographers, Clothing Companies
- Google Plus: Brick and Mortar Local Businesses
- LinkedIn: B2B Businesses
Don’t just take my word for it. There are plenty of businesses you would never thought would do good on Facebook and end up doing great. It’s all about how they approach it, how much time they spend, and what they choose to share. Take a look at some of theses social media statistics from trusted sources.
- Search Engine People – Social Media Stats of 2013
- HubSpot – All the Marketing Statistics You Need
- Medium – 124 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures
If in doubt, check out what other similar businesses to yours are doing online with their social media efforts. How do they engage with their consumers and how engaged are they with what the businesses posts? Also, don’t be fooled by the amount of Facebook followers someone has. If a lawyer has 4,000 likes on Facebook, more than likely, they paid for those likes. I’m not a big believer in paying for fans. The response rate tends to be much lower as most of your fans really didn’t go out of their way to like your page. So they aren’t going to out of of their way to engage with you. Which is the entire point of social media.