Facebook is an important social media location for many small businesses. It’s one of the fastest growing social media sites, and its business features are growing and expanding weekly. These facts make Facebook an important component of a business social media strategy. However, it has limitations that you should consider and you should not make Facebook the hub of your social media program.
- Before You Start: You are considering putting your business on Facebook.
- Learning Level: 1 | Social Media Basics
- Article Last Updated: Saturday, August 11, 2012
There are many reasons why your business might benefit from being on Facebook.
- Easy to set up and maintain. Facebook guides you through the page setup process and doesn’t require any special technical skills or tools. In fact, a Facebook page is much easier to maintain than most websites.
- Accepts all types of information. You can use your business Facebook page to post short paragraphs of text, photographs, and videos. Almost anything you create to communicate with your customers can be posted to Facebook.
- Link to any location online. You can use Facebook to point out any web page to your fans. You can highlight blog posts, your website, your latest press release, an article about you (or your business) online, or an outstanding review of your company.
- Reach many people. Facebook has over 400,000,000 members (as of June 2010) and new people sign up every day. Certainly some of your customers or potential customers are Facebook members.
These advantages make Facebook an attractive social media tool for businesses. But don’t let yourself be seduced into putting too much trust and effort into your Facebook presence at the neglect of other social media outposts.
At the same time, Facebook has several limitations that keep it from being the exclusive social media tool for your business.
- Facebook is always changing. The smart people who run Facebook are always adding and changing features. When these changes appear, they are unannounced and are not optional. Each Facebook redesign means that you have to adjust to playing by a different set of rules.
- Facebook controls access to your business page. You have a free account on Facebook, and that means that you can’t control your access to your Facebook account. Occasionally, there are stories about people who get their Facebook account suspended who didn’t break any known rules. The process for appealing your suspension takes some time, and the outcome is never guaranteed.
- Facebook provides a limited boost to your search results ranking. If you have a website with a blog, and if you put the same content on your blog and Facebook, you will get more traction from your blog.
- Facebook doesn’t allow you to contact individual fans. You can provide mass communication to all fans, but not to individual fans.
- Facebook doesn’t give you fan contact information. You can contact your fans only through Facebook, and only as a group. You also cannot export contact information for your fans.
When you look at the whole picture, you see that Facebook can be an important focus for your social media strategy, but it should not replace a website with a blog as your primary social media hub.
Your turn: Do you have an official (business) page on Facebook and a website with a blog? How do you manage your conversations over these different tools? Share your experience with the community.