Monday, May 7, 2012

Facebook for Business: 5 Things to Know So You Don't Get Ripped Off

I think WAY TOO MUCH is being made about Facebook for businesses. A lot of people want to make money off businesses by telling them they can change their company overnight with a little content management on Facebook. BS--I'm calling them on it. These people are selling businesses a load of it. And it's causing unrealistic expectations the rest of us are having to deal with.

Facebook can be great for businesses, BUT. Yes, a "but." You can't expect it to be the end-all, be-all for you. There's a lot more to it than just "getting on Facebook." Don't let anyone sell you or tell you otherwise. 

By itself, Facebook CAN'T:

-save your company from going out of business.
-increases sales overnight.
-increase traffic to your website or store.
-create passionate advocates
-make your business magically credible or more well liked

It can't do ANY of these things if, say, your website is atrocious and so driving traffic there is a wasted effort and leads to further credibility problems. It can't make a Check-In Deal successful if you don't tell people via other marketing communications about the deal. It can't make people LOVE your product or service unless it is lovable.

Facebook has to be SUPPORTED with other good marketing and branding. It can do a lot, don't get me wrong, but it can't do it all by itself. 

Case in point. 

I had a client who owns a personal training/workout facility. He hired me to manage his FB page and increase followers as well as traffic to his location. He wanted Facebook to drive business to him.

Ok, I said, BUT. How will you support FB efforts, I asked?
What other marketing things will help drive people to the FB page if we do a Check-In Deal, for instance?
Can we get your current website to look more credible and approachable?
Are you prepared to spend some money doing FB ads?
The answer in a nutshell, was NO.

He believed Facebook should do it all. He asked me, what am I paying YOU for? To which I answered: YOU CAN'T HIDE A NUT IN THE DESERT AND EXPECT A SQUIRREL TO FIND IT. And then, if they do find it, it has to be worth the effort it took to locate it.

I realized pretty quickly that this client wasn't going to understand. Even though we had numerous conversations about FB being a single tool in the marketing toolbox, he was flabbergasted that I continued to push his other marketing efforts to support what I was doing on his Facebook page. (And watch for another post on how to be a good Facebook client.)

Lesson learned. We parted ways.

If you are a business who wants to consider Facebook as a marketing tool, then understand these 5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START A FACEBOOK PAGE:

1. It IS just another business tool
2.You need a STRATEGY for Facebook that dovetails with other marketing efforts and business goals (Getting a lot of "Likes" is not a strategy)
3. Not just anyone can manage your Facebook page successfully (ie: your wife, best friend or some "expert" who claims they can).
4. make sure your other marketing and branding is in good shape first (or find someone who can help you get it there).
5. Make sure your business should even have a Facebook page in the first place. (Not every business needs one, regardless of what "they" say.)

Don't get ripped off by the misinformed who say, Well you HAVE to have a Facebook page and when  you do, it'll change your life. Ahem, I beg to differ.




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