Pros and Cons of Facebook for Business
When considering using Facebook for business, there are a number of important factors that need to be put into consideration. What are your communication objectives? What does your business want to achieve and who will manage your Facebook page?
Pros of Using a Facebook Page for Business
Over 1 Billion Users
Facebook now has 1.39 billion users worldwide with 890 million daily active user - it is a networking force to be reckoned with.
Custom Facebook Page Design
Custom designed pages are an excellent way of engaging with new visitors. It's important to capture the viewer's attention with interesting messages and visuals that entice them to like your page. Click this link to see our Facebook Page
Like, Comment and Share
Facebook is ideal for uploading images and showcasing your products and services to followers. Followers can then 'like', 'comment' or even 'share' your images with their friends leading to more exposure for you. It is 'word of mouth' marketing for the web!
The key to a successful Facebook page is updating your page regularly with useful and interactive content. You can use your page to connect with the public and showcase your business in an accessible manner.
As you update your Facebook page with more content you will get a better insight into how your fans engage with you through their on-site suite of analytic reporting. This gives you information such as the day and time your fans are most likely to be engaging online, how much they interact with your posts beyond liking it, age and location demographics and visits to your page including breakdown by referrer.
You can target potential clients via the Facebook advertising platform. As a Facebook page administrator, you can aim your advertisements at potential customers through location, sex, age and interests to name a few. There are also more advanced demographics to choose from such as relationship status, language, education and work. Facebook advertising is an excellent means of directly targeting your audience.
If you want to reach a larger audience without using the Facebook ads you can use promoted posts to boost a particular story. This story will appear as a ‘sponsored story’ near the top of your fan’s newsfeed. You can promote your post to either your fans and friends of your fans or target a particular audience based on age, sex and location. By default the promotion only lasts for one day and once your maximum budget is reached it will stop. This is particularly useful if you want to get additional reach for an event or particular story.
Link your Facebook to your website
Facebook can greatly improve your search engine optimisation. Your webmaster can easily install Add This (or many other tools) to your website. This will enable you and your visitors to publish content from your website directly to Facebook with the click of button. All shared posts link straight to your blog resulting in increased traffic to your website.
There are an abundance of free and paid applications you can install onto your Facebook page. Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Blog RSS Feed and Newsletter Sign Up are some apps we use. Including links to other networks on your Facebook page is an excellent way to promote your social networks. Click this link to see this BIG LIST of apps by Mari Smith
Cons of Using a Facebook Page for Business
Time and Resources
Time and resources is one of the biggest drawbacks of having a Facebook page. Business managers need to be aware that setting up a Facebook page does not mean people will automatically follow you. Maintaining a Facebook page takes time, resources and energy. Your company will need a dedicated member of staff who can monitor and respond to posts on a regular basis.
Sometimes building your fan base can be a slow burn for B2B on Facebook. To increase growth you can invest in resources and/or increase your advertising budget. An effective way to drive traffic and visitors to your Facebook page is to run a competition. Facebook has loosened its restrictions on running competitions so you can now get people like / comment on a post, message your page, like your page or using likes as a voting mechanism.
A reasonable advertising budget is essential to the success of your Facebook page. With many alternative methods of online marketing you may find that your page will experience very slow growth. Facebook have 2 primary types of advertising sponsored stories and Facebook Ads. Within that there are 2 payment options; Pay per Thousand Impressions (CPM), where you pay a fee each time your ad is viewed 1000 times and Pay for Click (CPC) where you pay when an individual clicks on your ad. To find out more about Facebook advertising click here.
The Voice of Your Company
The management of your Facebook page should not be left to an intern or someone 'who thinks they know how to use Facebook'. This is a common mistake made by business page owners. Social media is a powerful modern marketing tool and can catch on like wildfire. It’s important to represent your company in a professional manner. It is a good idea to set up a communications community that can monitor what is being published on behalf of your organisation.
Social Media is a powerful medium and you must have reputation management policies in place. For example, if a customer is not happy with your product or service; they have the ability to post unsatisfactory comments on your Facebook page. Your support staff must either rectify the customers issue on Facebook or direct them to a support e-mail address via your website. Deleting the users comment is a BIG NO NO and can backfire.
Lack of interaction on Facebook and not publishing regular content can reflect very poorly on a business. A Facebook page is not just something to create and then forget about. You need to be committed - post regular updates to your fans and provide useful content. You need to participate in the conversation, share images and become immersed in Facebook to provide an excellent social media service that represents your company as a reputable organisation.
Facebook is the leading social media network in the world.
There are other social networks hot on their heels such as Google+ but none have come close to Facebook’s overwhelming user base of 1 billion. In our view, if you are willing to put the time and resources into your business’s Facebook page the positives out-weigh the negatives. Setting up a Facebook page and how you utilise its applications for business really depends on each company on a case by case basis. We hope we have shed some light on the minefield of social media and please let us know how your facebook business page is working for you.
If you have additional Pros and Cons of using Facebook for business let us know. Or if you'd like help with your Facebook Marketing Strategy, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01 672 5222.