A blog post warning you against the dangers of Facebook ?
So here's why you should be careful of Planet Facebook.
Don't Jump Off the Cliff
If you Google “small business marketing strategy” it won't be long before you find yourself on a blog advising you to explore how Facebook can benefit your business. And chances are that this advice will be so convincing you'll go out and start a page to compliment your business site, your blog, your Twitter presence (if you have one!)and any other bright shiny objects out there that could help you market your business online.
You'll spend a bit of time choosing a great picture for your Timeline. You'll build your profile, encourage people to ‘Like' you and the you'll spend a bit more time adding the Facebook ‘Like' widget to your website to get even more Likes. Each day you'll spend a few minutes here, a few minutes there trying to grow your Likes, trying to get people engaged and involved. And after a while, hey presto, you might even have a stack of new friends who like your business page.
But Here's the Rub
There's a reason I don't have a Facebook Page widget on this site anymore.
It's because it didn't bring me any business. At all.
Sure, it was nice having some “friends” and getting new Likes. And I enjoyed the bits of conversation that took place, the banter of it all.
Touble was, no matter how much effort I put into it, it wasn't impacting the bottom line.
Everything Has a Time and Place
As someone that runs Facebook accounts for clients I want to be clear here: Facebook can be incredibly important for a business; however, for someone else's business, it can be an utter waste of time.
Without Data You're Lost
This is why you need to work out relatively quickly exactly whether Facebook is good for your business or not.
If you're actively trying to be on Facebook as a marketing tactic, do you know how many visitors Facebook sends to your website every month ? And how many of those complete your sales funnel? Or disappear after glancing around for a few seconds, never to return?
No matter how much you enjoy building a Facebook Page for your business, it can be bad for your business if it's not impacting the bottom line: sales.
Forget the Guilt
For the first couple of weeks after I killed the Jontus Media FB Page I felt the odd pang of guilt: Maybe I hadn't given it enough of a go, I wondered. Perhaps it would have delivered more if I'd stuck with it, I thought.
Instead I put the time into something much more beneficial; improving my podcast, which does put money in my pocket.
Data is King
So by all means, explore what Facebook (or any social media channel) can do for you; but make sure you're collecting enough data to assess whether it's of positive impact.
It's important, however, not to equate Likes or social media Friends with success unless they really benefit your business.
Sure, it can take months to gather useful data, but make sure you have the metrics in place as soon as possible. Just today I was looking at a site that hadn't set up enough tracking to measure the success of their digital sales funnel.
So remember, successfully tracking your data and, say, assessing what's working and what's not each quarter, you can put your energies into the things that really work for you.
What About You?
Are you afraid to kick your business Facebook Page into touch ? Or just don't know whether it's working or not ?