You may wonder if Facebook is really worth it for your business, or if it is taking away from other items that could be more beneficial. Perhaps you wonder if you should start being social on Facebook as a new startup company.
According to Venture, the company has more than 15 million brands, something that probably should not be a big surprise given the social media giant’s overall grasp of the social networking world.
Meantime, a study earlier this year from Constant Contact noted that social media usage by small businesses was up in the last year with 82 percent saying they were using the platform. More companies are using Facebook and other such venues to broadcast updates and special offers to their followers. Facebook came in ranked first among these social venues, grabbing 82 percent of businesses.
Just because Facebook has a large following, is it necessarily the right social tool for your brand?
Either way, you’re going to want to know the pros and cons for a small business before you decide to abandon Facebook altogether.
The Facebook Pros For Business
Getting your fanbase high on Facebook can mean many things to your company. There are some really good pluses for a business to use Facebook to interact with their demographic. Some of these include:
- Increased Communication – Facebook allows you and your customer base to talk and share items easily and quickly. You are able to get out instant, and free, promotions and advertising, while creating buzz-worthy content. Your customers are able to share these posts with their friends and family which may help garner more customers and sales for you.
- Conversations are Threaded – The pros of having threaded conversations means that you can converse with your entire facebook fanbase in a real time environment. This can be great to hold Q&A events or how-to seminars, or anything at all that would require quick responses.
- There Is Tremendous Reach Potential – There is an overwhelming amount of users on Facebook - approximately 1 billion This opens your business up to the entire world, which is a boon for those with Ecommerce.
- More Content In Search Engines – Facebook also creates more content in the various search engines which can help if you are trying to keep your brand name focused in the tops of the Google pages.
- Videos Can Be Spread – Facebook is also a good way to post links to videos your business has posted on other video-sharing platforms such as Vine and YouTube. Getting these videos spread throughout the social media sites can be a step in the right direction in getting the video to go viral.
Business Cons Of Facebook
However, like everything in life, Facebook also has its cons in regard to company participation. Depending on what you have in mind for your company, these will also need to be thought about prior to branching out onto the social media darling of Facebook. Some of these include:
- It Isn’t All Positive – Being on Facebook as a business means that comments are going to arrive. They won’t all be pleasant. Criticism and negativity may be part of the process that you’ll have to monitor and deal with. Try to not get into controversial topics that can easily spiral out of control and cause problems with your business. Deal with any negative reviews you may receive through the page quickly and efficiently.
- The Threaded Conversations Isn’t a Mobile Option – Those that are not on desktops aren’t going to be able to take part in threaded conversations as well as those that are on PCs. This means that the mobile app users — which make up over 100 million users of the community aren’t going to be able to partake of those items.
- Dedication to Monitoring Needed – Facebook is a 24/7 spot and you’ll need someone to monitor it so that things are not allowed to get out of control. You may think this will never happen, but it will only take one conversation or review that spirals out of bounds before it could become viral and end up making your business the brunt of the joke on the internet.
Whether or not you decide to stay on Facebook is completely up to your unique business situation. Only you can make this vital decision. The good news? No decision is final in today’s world. You can start or stop your Facebook page at the drop of a hat with their “deactivate” option.
Facebook Groups And Your Business
Being part of a group or starting your own group is a good way to market your business to those throughout Facebook. With the use of Facebook groups, your business has a wider selection of different options to use, such as uploading documents and files as well as connecting to your customers. Keep in mind there are various different types of groups. They can be open groups, where you can find it online and readily share, or they can be closed, where they are not seen online and able to be shared with others. Both have a use in the business environment.
- Closed groups are a good way to share information and files with a select group only, such as employees are those in your immediate circle.
- Open groups are better at grabbing the attention of new leads, helping spread your message and postings throughout a wider pool of Facebook users.
As a business owner, has Facebook been a plus or minus for your business up to now? Do share in the comments and let me know what it has meant for your company, good and the bad.
[Image: Flickr, Ludovic Toinel, Creative Commons Licence]