To this day, the very first step a new entrepreneur will take when launching their business will be to create a Facebook Business Page. Friends and family will follow the page right away, which will give the user a boost of excitement with the surge of new followers, but actually generating business interest from that point is tough if you just stop there and rely on the one platform. Read below to find out more about some of the limitations of just relying on Facebook to promote your business online.
1. Your business page must be attached to a personal account
Your business page must be attached to a personal Facebook account. This can cause a headache when a staff member leaves the company and deletes the page or is unwilling to sign the page over to someone else.
This can be combatted by having several page admins, but when it comes to using paid advertising services, even those are attached to a single user. Employing a social media manager would involve attaching their personal page to the business page, and also providing them with your credit card details as all ads they set up will be set up under their personal account - sound confusing? It is.
2. Posts are limited if you are not paying for them
Speaking of paid advertising, according to this forbes.com article, only 1-5% of your page followers actually see the page's unpaid posts on their timelines. That is an incredibly small amount of your own followers seeing your posts.
Paid advertising is not just to generate more interest, if you actually want more of your followers seeing your posts, you have to pay for this too.
Six weeks of going round in circles to attempt to have Facebook review their decision, logging support tickets, navigating through their confusing web of support links and ‘help’ articles. There was simply no way to actually contact them. Facebook simply did not care.
4. Facebook is not set up to provide information in a cohesive way
I have covered this before in a previous post, the fact that Facebook is not set up to provide your information in a helpful way to your current and potential clients.
If someone wants more information after seeing a post on Facebook, it can be very hard to find this information. Even when they go to your page, it's not necessarily easy. Users will have to scroll through your feed to find the relevant post which can easily get lost in the crowd of other posts.
5. Facebook is a distracting environment
If the only place your business is operating online is on Facebook, you will need to be spending a lot of time there; interacting with your clients, posting new price lists, business updates, images of recent work etc.
Doing all of this in such a social setting can be a huge distraction. While you are doing that said work, you are also getting notifications from your friends and family showing at the top of the page, messages popping up at the bottom, and soon enough you find you're scrolling that timeline and you're not really sure how you got there. Bottom line is, Facebook is not a productive business environment.
So what can Facebook be helpful for?
Having a Facebook business page is important, because people will search for you there, to find out more about you.
People will click on your first few posts - so make sure you have an important one pinned to the top. They will click on your 'about' section, so it's important to have this up to date with your latest contact information including your email address and website link.
Paid promotions and advertising on Facebook are worth the spend, as long as you are willing to spend it. It is recommended to invest in paid advertising for any competitions or promotions you are running, as well as any important business announcements you want your followers to be aware of.
I think the most important point I want to make in writing this post is that you don't own your content on social media. Your website is the only place on the internet where you actually own your information and control the way it is laid out and presented to your clients.
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Thanks to Mindzye Fashions, forbes.com, nzherald.co.nz and mashable.com for providing some of the information and facts used in this post.