Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Okay, I’ve got a Facebook Page…What now?

Congrats! You’ve made a big step in the world of social media. But, oh dear. Don’t tell me you’ve started a Facebook Page without having a strategy. If that’s the case, do yourself a favor and delete it now. Harsh? Yes. But I’ve seen so many businesses wallowing out there, posting lots of spammy looking stuff and subsequently doing a great job of making themselves look BAD. Why would you do that? Perhaps some of these reasons sound like your rationale for starting a page:

•    Everyone else has a Facebook page so I have to have one too.
•    I’ll make sales. All I have to do is post my product or service.
•    I heard that other media forms are dying, like newspaper ads and direct mail.
•    It’s keeping up with the times.
•    It’s free.
•    I can get all my friends to like it, and I’ll have hundreds of people on there!

First of all, a Facebook page isn’t for everyone. It depends on a combination of factors, including what your industry is, if you’re B to C or B to B, where your audience is (or isn't) and how successful you’ve been with other media. For example, if you are a service provider and clients are coming in from your newspaper ad, and you’re turning people away, that may be enough, for now. But do revisit the thought down the road. Your clientele may be newspaper readers, and not Facebook frequenters.

Facebook pages are not about spamming the public with advertising by constantly posting hard selling come-ons on your page. If that’s your mindset, you will fail. This is social media, not hard hitting in the face, advertising. And yes, while some methods of reaching people are dying out, such as newspapers, it doesn’t mean they don’t work today for your target audience.

Myth: Facebook pages are free. That’s just not true! They require a lot of time. You can do it yourself, however, if you’re offering a service that bills at $200 an hour, is it worth taking the time to do those posts? Do you place ads in newspapers yourself? Probably not beyond making a phone call and writing a check. If you do go ahead with a Facebook page think about outsourcing so you can concentrate on your business at hand. And ramping up by growing fans rapidly via a Facebook ad will set you back a pretty penny. If you are a one person show and posting all day, what does that say about the amount of work you really do?

A Facebook business page is not about your friends; many of your friends, while interested in you, will not have much interest in the services or the products you offer. On a positive note, they may like your page, and, while they never participate there they may pass along your page to people they know that will have an interest. But do get yourself set up for rejection, and do not be offended when your friends “like” your page, then “unlike” it a couple of days later.

All the wrong reasons are posted above. Now, I don’t want to give away all my trade secrets, but I highly recommend conversing with someone who can help you determine the reasons why YOU should have a Facebook page, what the expectations are, the best way for you to go about it, content, how to handle conflict and negativity, how to project the essence of your brand, and I could go on.

Wish I didn’t have to say this: It’s not that simple. Strategy and Planning is the key. Winging it is not a substitute. Best to you!


Nancy said...

Oh, that business about "free" is sooo true. We do pay in our time.

AlexandraFunFit said...

So true. We have a fan page, and if we just posted our "stuff," we'd have no fans. But we try to post all kinds of interesting articles and comments that involve our readers. That makes all the difference.

Themelis Cuiper said...

@Themelis_Cuiper says: True, just having a pulse does not count, You must be there, to be present to show up for work everyday for #socialmedia.

Social Media, writing blogs, being on all the hip networks, it is not free and it is a hard job if you do not like producing content or to put time in sweet nothing while getting paid nothing direct.

Social media is a long term PR investment in self branding, finding partners online and to keep in contact with (future)customers.

What keeps You sane are those few people that real
connect with you during your efforts to reach the
whole worlds of networks.
In time You recognize those people that understand

Gerry Wendel knows social media.

I like Your blog Gerry !

Themelis Cuiper