I recently suggested on Twitter some companies don’t need a Facebook Page, and boy did that ruffle feathers. Twitter lit up with replies that fell into two camps: ReTweets, and disbelief.
“Wha?! Why wouldn’t a company want a Facebook Page?”
Some of those who were incredulous are social media consultants. My gut response was “What kind of social media consultant can’t fathom a company forgoing Facebook?!”
Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe every company needs a Facebook Page. But I doubt it. Here are some reasons Facebook Page isn’t right for your company:
Facebook is the Wrong Tool Based on Goals
Smart marketers begin by defining goals — strategy and tools follow. For some goals, Facebook isn’t the right best tool for the job. Pay-per-click ads, SEO, Twitter, or trade shows might achieve better results at a better price.
Can a customer community on Facebook (or elsewhere) help achieve your goals? Yes. Is it the most direct solution? Maybe, but not necessarily. For some goals it’s a great tool, but not for all goals.
Facebook is the Wrong Tool Based on Audience
Everybody and their brother is on Facebook, right? Well, no. Facebook boasts 500 million users, but that’s still just 7% of the world population. There are 5.5 billion people not using Facebook.
More pointedly, your target audience might not use Facebook — or isn’t there for business. How many Fortune 100 CEOs are on Facebook? How many VPs at Big 4 accounting firms? Do you know? And even if they’re on Facebook, is Mr. or Mrs. C-Suite there to hear about your offerings?
If I sold cam shafts to auto mechanics, I wouldn’t build a Facebook Page. Or if I ran an elevator repair company. Dollars to donuts says my customers wouldn’t be interacting with me on Facebook between Farmville sessions.
Facebook Might Vanish One Day
Yes, Facebook is huge. It’s worth a kajillion clams. Zuckerberg is a genius. It’s woven into every aspect of our lives. Until it’s not. Until something displaces it. Until a bad investment decision. Until Zuck screws something up. Until regulators show up.
And then what? What will happen to your community? Will you have contact info for all of your “Fans?” How will you get them to connect with you on another channel? What about all that content you created exclusively for Facebook? Don’t you wish you owned your connections and content, instead of just renting them?
You Have No Content
Facebook Page: Check. Five thousand fans: Check. Engaging, relevant content…
So you have 50…500…5,000 fans. Now what? Sure, tell them about your new coupon. And your holiday specials. And, um…Sandy in accounting winning “Employee of the Month.”
Facebook followers get tired of promotions quicker than you think. So will you. Do you really want to discount your prices forever? And when promotions lose their appeal, you’ll need compelling content to engage your customers.
Think compelling content doesn’t matter? Think again. Most fans never return to your Facebook Page, which means you have to show up in their Newsfeed to catch their attention. Facebook uses a complex formula for determining what your fans see in their Newsfeeds. Content that generates a lot of “Likes” and Comments rises to the top. If your content doesn’t inspire engagement by other Facebook users, you’ll be buried in the stream of news, likely to vanish into obscurity.
I Might Be Wrong
I’m not trying to talk you out of Facebook, or out of social media in general. On the contrary: I want you to be a more social business and reap the rewards. But I want you to spend your resources wisely, too.
Suppose I’m wrong, though. Wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe every company needs a Facebook Page. Convince me in the comments section?