Relying on Facebook to run your business? That may not be a good idea…

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Relying on Facebook to run your business? That may not be a good idea…

By now, most of us know the impact that Facebook has had on our everyday lives, not just on a personal level but also for business. Facebook gives small businesses the opportunity to expose their brand on a level playing field with the big boys. Facebook also provided lots of other benefits – a business page is free to register, simple to set up, doesn’t require hosting and is easy to update and maintain.

But, the simplicity of being able to set this up has led to an influx of many start up businesses and small traders putting their eggs into one basket and relying on Facebook as their main and ONLY web presence and source of traffic.

So why shouldn’t a business rely on their Facebook page to generate custom and keep in contact with their ‘fans’?

You don’t really own your Facebook business page

Whatever you upload to your Facebook page (personal or business) automatically belongs to Facebook. So, any images, status update posts or data you or your fans post immediately belongs to Facebook. Don’t forget, you haven’t paid for this page or any of its hosting. You are simply the tenant, whilst Facebook carries the keys!

Security

What if your account gets hacked or your password is stolen? What if Facebook decides to close your account or change it’s terms and conditions? If your only source of engagement and making sales is through Facebook then you really could be heading for trouble further down the line. If the worst does happen and your account is lost, closed down or tinkered with then the damage to your business could be huge. You can’t back up any data on Facebook, so your customer base could vanish with the click of a button and you would have no way of retrieving it.

facebook-for-businessYour brand identity should stay consistent

As long term users of Facebook will know, Facebook likes to update and refresh it’s own look and feel of it’s content on a regular basis. With Facebook you are confined to the way it wants you to display your images and information. It may suit your business for now, but what happens if Facebook changes the way it wants to display your products or services? Will it benefit your business or lose you custom?

Is Facebook right for your business?

Unless you run a multinational company then the realistic prospect of your business getting thousands of likes is pretty slim. This is even more so if your business is B2B (Business to Business) rather than B2C (Business to Consumer).

However, even if your business does get a high number of likes, how many of these people are actively liking, sharing or commenting on your posts, or even viewing them at all in their status feeds? As big as Facebook is at the moment, who’s to say that people won’t start to lose favour with it or just not use their accounts that much (or maybe even move over to the next big thing?) Short term rewards may be good ¬†from a instant revenue point of view, but what about long term growth and development?

Use Facebook for what it’s best at – A marketing tool

Obviously, we don’t want to discourage any business owner to not use Facebook for their business – far from it! But it should be used in the right context and as part of a wider online marketing strategy. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ along with a dedicated blog or website all play a part in developing the brand exposure for a business, but putting all your efforts into one medium in which you don’t own or have any real control over could potentially be a disasterous move to make!

To discuss any kind of social media marketing or how to promote your business online or through a website, please get in contact with us.

 

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