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Is there business life beyond Facebook?

mix of activities that makes a makreting strategy

A strong marketing strategy encompasses more than one option

Like it or not, Facebook is a big site that attracts millions of people to it. Every day. Repeatedly.

As a business, it is important to understand how Facebook could be part of your marketing plan – note I don’t say you have to be ON Facebook but I do think it is a good idea to actively know about it and consciously decide whether or nor to use it for marketing.

Facebook is changing

If you’ve been on Facebook or read many marketing/SEO blogs, you’ll know that Facebook has changed things a number of times.

Recent changes, however, have made businesses wonder if Facebook will be a viable marketing option soon. Updates on business pages do not go into your fans’ news feed by default any more – some do, but fans have to show an interest first and it’s still no guarantee.

Facebook is moving towards charging businesses to be in front of fans.

As a business, it’s understandable that they want to make money. For SMBs, there is a real and justifiable fear that they won’t be able to compete in the advertising stakes against the big guys. A problem social media supposedly overcame for many SMBs.Select to get Word Constructions notifcations in Facebook

At least they have now added notifications so fans can choose to be notified of updates on a page.

What other options are there?

I don’t see this as a small answer. I never thought of Facebook as that important my business relies on it so I already use a number of other avenues.

But some businesses have put a lot into their Facebook page and could be challenged by looking elsewhere.

The appeal of Facebook is that so many people use it. But how many of those people are really your target market anyway? A targetted option may have fewer users but more of them will be interested so it could offer much more value anyway.

To me, the risk of Facebook (and similar sites) is lack of ownership. You don’t ‘own’ your Facebook profile in the same way you own your website. Facebook can change the rules or  disappear, leaving you without all you built up.

One way to keep using Facebook but have less reliance on it is to add ‘like’ buttons to your site.

That means people can still refer to you and your site to their Facebook friends but traffic comes to your site, not your Facebook profile.

Chris Syme offers a number of good ideas in a recent blog post and I’d add a few more:

  •  get involved on some popular blogs – leave comments and interact with the blogger and other readers
  • do some guest blogging
  • find some forums that suit your niche and become active there – it’s a smaller audience but targetted
  • if using any social media, keep a focus on your website so you don’t lose everything if the platform collapses or becomes unusable
  • develop and maintain an email list
  • promote yourself offline as well – ads in local newsletters, sponsor local events and hand out business cards appropriately

What would happen to your business tomorrow if Facebook suddenly wanted to charge too much for your page?

Do you have other viable options already in place?

Tash & Word Constructions on Twitter          Word Constructions on LinkedIn         Tash & Word Constructions on Facebook

4 Responses to Is there business life beyond Facebook?

  • PubD says:

    I don’t tend to spend a lot of time worrying about my facebook page. I do encourage people to share my content, which is really about the most valuable social engagement they can offer… a “Like” means very little these days.

  • KennyK says:

    I think the lack of real ownership is a negative aspect about Facebook. However, I think that the big companies who invest time and money into their Facebook profiles are making a wise choice. It keeps growing and it’s a lost opportunity if you don’t at least know what’s going on in the Facebook world and what people are doing there.

    • tashword says:

      I agree, Kenny, that it is good business sense to look at Facebook and consider it for your business – an informed decision (for or against) is much better than ignoring it or following others.

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