My business clients always want to know whether they should create a Facebook page. They’ve all heard the success that brands like Coca Cola, Marketo or Nike have had with it, and they think that they immediately have to jump on the bandwagon. If you’re in the B2C market, then by all means create a Facebook page. With over a billion people using the site, Facebook offers a huge potential for you to sell your products or services.
Creating a Facebook Page in the B2C Market
The question gets a little trickier if you’re in the B2B space. Why? Well, the businesses using Facebook tend to be doing the same thing you are: They’re setting up a page in the hopes of attracting potential customers. What they’re generally not doing is using Facebook to find other businesses. Sure, people who work for your potential customers are using Facebook, but they’re probably not thinking about business. These people are probably using Facebook for their own personal, private uses. Even with Facebook trying to become a search engine with its new Graph Search, most people and businesses are not searching Facebook to find products and services.
The other problem with Facebook is that it takes a lot of work to get noticed. You can’t just set up a Facebook page and hope that people will just find it. You have to create good, quality posts, and you have to promote it via every avenue available to you: email, newsletters, events, other social networks, TV, etc. And once you get a following, you have to keep it.
I’ve heard many people say that they created a Facebook page, but they haven’t seen any leads or traffic from it. Then I go to their page, and there’s hardly any updates or the updates are all self-promotional. You have to create a mix of self-promotion and other items like videos, sharing other people’s stories, photos and the like. But more importantly, you have to keep it updated.
Small Businesses and Facebook
Small businesses are usually the ones most likely to want to create a Facebook page since they’re trying to use every avenue available to them drive traffic to their business. And Facebook is for the most part free. But you need to think about social media strategically. Is your target audience really using Facebook? With all the other social networks available, is this really a place where you want to dedicate resources? Do you have the resources to run multiple social networks, especially if Google doesn’t like to see dead social accounts?
If you are a business and want to try Facebook, I suggest trying to gain more exposure with it via Facebook ads. Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive, but the ROI for many clients has been huge. Try a couple of different ads promoting a special offer, product, etc., and see what it does for you. If neither a Facebook page nor ads work for you, don’t be afraid to pull the plug, and shut down your page. It’s worse to have a dead page on Facebook than none at all.