Does Your Business Need a Facebook Page? Answer these questions first…

business facebook page

by Amanda Cleary Eastep

“Everyone tells me I need to be on Facebook. Does my corrosion control business really need a Facebook Page?”

A business owner asked me this recently aware that I had birthed and have nurtured, like a fourth child, the social media presence at a small liberal arts college for the past five years.

“Ew-y” status updates about corroded pipes immediately sprang to my mind. (Would I “Like” his page? Maybe not, but then, I wouldn’t be his target audience.)

Since we were at a family gathering, we didn’t continue the conversation for long. But I would like to thank Jeff for the question and offer this answer: Maybe.

In 2008, when I jumped on the Facebook bandwagon–and Twitter in 2009–I had developed the following social media strategy for the college.

1. Some of our competitors are doing it.
2. We don’t want to get left behind.
3. I will figure it out as I go and manage it in my “spare” time.

Piss poor strategy or good marketing instincts? Yes.

Most businesses have come to realize that social media is no fad and that they should at least ask the same question Jeff asked me. That question can more easily be answered after businesses answer a few other questions:

1. What is your current marketing strategy? Facebook would be another aspect of your total marketing and would need to be integrated into the overall strategy.

2. Who is your target audience, what are their needs and how could social media serve them? Obviously, this isn’t your personal profile…no pics of your trip to NYC, unless you use this opportunity to talk about the corrosion control efforts to save the Statue of Liberty’s nose.

3. What are your competitor’s doing? Does it seem to be working? If they jumped off a cliff, would you? Probably, if it brought in lots of new customers and a similarly amazing jump in sales. (Although such metrics aren’t the easiest things to measure.)

4. What types of content would you share on your Page? Using social media effectively means engaging with people and providing them with something of value, whether that be:

Information, like about new corrosion control technologies
Entertainment, everyone has a good corrosion story
Service, providing a place for customers to post questions and (hopefully) get quick and helpful answers

5. Do you have someone on your team who could dedicate time to maintaining your company’s social media presence? Even a small amount of time from one employee–or maybe a few employees to spread the responsibility–can make it work effectively.

Thinking over questions like these can help a business answer the Facebook question. Social media is not a one-size fits all marketing tool, but what is?

So, Jeff, should you consider a corrosion control Facebook Page? Yes. Does your business need one? Maybe.

Anyone else asking the same question? What are your reasons for “YES!” or “Hell, no!”?

NOTE: There is a lot of info out there about whether you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ and ‘how to’ if you do. Here’s one if you decide to go from Maybe to Yes.

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6 thoughts on “Does Your Business Need a Facebook Page? Answer these questions first…

  1. You’re right, Amanda, this is a question businesses should be asking, and the answer won’t be “Yes” for everyone. Another factor to consider is, “Do I have the time (or the ability) to interact with people effectively on a Facebook page?” Having a page with no activity can look worse than having no page at all. I was guilty of that myself, so I changed the focus of my page about a year ago: http://lifelinespublishing.net/2012/03/14/using-facebooks-timeline-to-share-your-story/

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  2. Yes, the all important SOCIAL part of social media, staying engaged. As a freelance writer, I had to ask the question. Does Word Ninja need a Facebook Page? Maybe, but the priority has been building this new site and connecting with clients through word of mouth. But I’ll be asking the question again in the new year.

    So, Melanie, have you had direct sales through Facebook or do you look at it as more of a tool for raising awareness?

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    1. As far as I know, I have not had any direct sales as a result of my Facebook page, although I did get a job as a result of the blog I posted about using Facebook! Like you, I consider my website my main business hub. But I know a lot of people are on Facebook, so I share my blog on Facebook so that people can interact with it there if they prefer. Most of those people aren’t in “business mode” while they’re on Facebook though, so I try to respect that and not be annoying.

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  3. Based on your blog and discussion, having a web presence is a decisive issue and a web page is the most important. As for the facebook…I am still at maybe. Twitter…..maaaaaaaybe! But I agree, if you do not put time into responding within a timely fashion, people will go elsewhere quickly. The concept of getting answers is a real possiblity for my field. however, I have also had that work against me as people will look for free anwsers and then go elsewhere or implement a solution under their own. What is interesting, is we do not have a web page, But our workload is not dependent upon that presence, but I can see its importance as a means to find out about us and what we can do for them.

    Thanks for the input! Will let you know what we do going forward.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, Jeff! You raise an even more important point, that of a business having a website. The subject of Facebook in this post was approached with the assumption that a business already had a website. I would recommend that even the smallest business have a site, and I believe that is the expectation of customers today. Even a simple site (with a clean design and excellent content) provides an effective way for you to raise awareness of your business and can help move a prospective customer to client status.

      …OK, now I’m wound up and will have to start writing a new post…

      Colleges, for example, have prospective students who choose to enroll based solely on what they have seen/read/experienced on the school’s site. At the other end of the spectrum are businesses that operate, and have been for years, without a website. Right now, I’m working with a fire safety equipment distributor in the mining industry who needs copy written for sales brochures. He has been in business for decades and still has some of his original customers. As you mentioned, Jeff, even without a site, current customers may keep your “workload” full. He has a basic site but one that I see has much more potential for branding, marketing, and growing his business.

      There is nothing quite like word-of-mouth and client referrals, but looking ahead in regard to your business marketing and communications…and looking at what customers expect TODAY…a website is an amazing tool that can support and proliferate all those great referrals.

      Thanks, Jeff and Melanie, for a good “conversation”!

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