Social!Tech: Is Facebook Right For Your Small Business?
Primarily for their well-publicized security and privacy issues, I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook for business. In fact, it’s for those reasons specifically, that I’ve all but abandoned my personal Facebook account too.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook can be a great tool for personal use like keeping in touch with old friends — the virtual class reunion — but, unlike Twitter or LinkedIn, unless you’re planning to drive a ton of traffic to your Facebook page through a deliberate and possibly resource intensive marketing campaign, I’ve never seen Facebook as a particularly good tool for a small business to generate new leads.
And, while I would certainly never dissuade anyone from using Facebook as a supplement to services like Twitter and so on, I would be hesitant to recommend any small business put all of their eggs into that one Facebook basket.
I suppose over the years I’ve been burned by witnessed more services like Facebook fall by the wayside after riding the crest of a wave of popularity (Myspace (née MySpace)?, Friendster?, Orkut?, Pownce?), that perhaps I’ve grown more wary of jumping into services like Facebook with both feet.
All that said, your mileage can and will vary, because the benefits you’ll gain for your small business through the use of a site like Facebook are only realized through the effort you put into it. As I mentioned a moment ago, if you’re willing to invest the time and resources needed to drive traffic to your site via a big Facebook (or Twitter) campaign, chances are you’ll likely see a lot of good come of it. It’s by raising your Facebook presence through these types of campaigns that you can gain the followers needed to use the service for marketing your business. After all, why do you think so many ads you see these days invite you to “Like” their business on Facebook?
But then, depending on your market, and the customers you’re trying to reach, that same can be said of ANY media campaign, both traditional and social alike.
I felt compelled to share my thoughts on Facebook today after spotting an interesting article over at PCWorld (linked below) that lists three reasons why your business should avoid Facebook. And while avoiding Facebook entirely may not be the best take-away you’ll get from this article, it still provides some important issues to keep in mind when considering Facebook as a social media platform for your small business.