Last week on SmallBizTrends we discussed some of the new changes being made to Facebook brand pages designed to increase communication between brands and users. As a SMB owner myself, I was really pleased with the announced upgrades. I felt they addressed many of the long-standing frustrations I had and it was nice to see Facebook tackle so many of them at once. Now that Facebook has upgraded its platform for brands, that means you should absolutely head over there and create a page for your small business, right?
Well, not exactly.
Just because Facebook has made important upgrades to its platform, doesn’t mean it’s a place you need to be. Below are a few reasons you shouldn’t create a presence on Facebook. Feel free to replace Facebook with “Twitter”, “blogging” or “that other social media site” as you see fit. Because, really, the same rules apply.
You don’t have the resources to invest there
You’ve heard it a million times – the only thing worse than having no presence on a social media site is having a BAD one. And it’s the truth. Creating a Facebook brand page means making the choice to invest valuable time and resources into Facebook instead of putting them somewhere else. To create a strong Facebook presence you’ll need a person (or a group of people) that can create content, start conversations, respond to interactions, moderate activity and more. If you don’t have the time to participate in Facebook or you’re not interested in devoting the time to it, then don’t create the initial page. Because once it’s there, you have to manage it. Otherwise it collects dust and shows users that you’re really not paying attention.
Your audience isn’t there
It would not be wise to assume that your audience is on Facebook simply because marketers love talking about it. As a small business owner, it’s a waste of your time and money to invest in a site that’s not going to convert for you or that won’t help you to build awareness. You want to make smart choices when picking the right social network for your brand. To help you do that, it’s worth spending some time looking at your analytics, your referrer logs and even asking your customers which social networks they use before you simply hop on and create a presence. Otherwise you may be buying a dress for the wrong party.
Facebook doesn’t align with your business goals
Not every small business will benefit from creating a social media presence. If you’re the type of business that has to run everything through legal or corporate or PR before you publish it, then social media may become a bottleneck that your business could do without. Or perhaps you don’t want to interact with your customers. If that’s the case, then there might be a better way for you to get your message out then forcing someone in your company to be social. If social media doesn’t align with your business goals, then don’t feel pressured to set up shop.
You can’t keep up with it
It’s not just the daily interactions and updating that can take time away from a small business owner, you also have to factor in the time involved staying up-to-date with Facebook’s constant changes and updates. Creating a presence on Facebook means you have to be aware when Facebook removes a feature, only to put it back a few days later. You have to know what the best practices are today, compared to what they were a year ago. Because things change fast in social media. If you’re not watching, you may miss something and accidentally get your brand in trouble or miss out on a prime opportunity.
Obviously the rules above don’t apply to just Facebook. Before you invest in any social media or marketing channel for your business, you want to establish a clear reason for what you’re doing and an understanding of how you’ll use that site/platform to reach your goals. Don’t assume you need a Facebook page just because everyone is talking about it. Do your homework and have a purpose for being there.