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Is it worth having a Facebook Page for your local business?

A lot of local businesses use a Facebook Page to serve the role of a website because it is so easy to do.  But just because it is done by lots of other people, doesn’t necessarily make it right for you.

A key starting point is to understand the nature of Facebook.  It is a social space for friends to connect, and companies promoting their products and services are not always welcome.  Facebook will always be more effective is you try to build communities around common topics of interest, e.g. cycling if you are a cycling shop.

Some reality checks about Facebook:

  • Very few of your posts reach people who have liked your page previously. This can be as low as 1 in 20 things you post will be seen by your fans.  This is a conscious attempt by Facebook to make companies pay to reach their fans, and to avoid users getting their timelines filled with commercial messages.
  • People don’t go to company pages very often – they tend to wait for things to pop up in their timeline. Research has shown that 90 to 95% will never return to a page they have liked.
  • A ‘like’ is of questionable value. A lot of companies spend lots of money getting ‘likes’, only to have to spend even more money to get them to see your posts.  And a like doesn’t mean they are ever going to purchase your goods or services.

 

So, the case for a Facebook page is far from convincing, especially if your intention is to build a community that you can communicate with regularly.  In the early days, before Facebook made you pay for everything, it was a great way for businesses to promote themselves for free.  But because Facebook now charge to communicate with people the way businesses should use Facebook has changed.

 

The real power of Facebook is now as an advertising medium.  This means not trying to build communities (or “likes”), but simply to put out messages.  It doesn’t matter if people click on your post or like your page – the value is in the branding and message before their eyes.  This is no different to an advert in a newspaper.  You want ongoing top-of-mind awareness, and responses to offers that are of interest to them at that point in time.

 

If you want people to click on your advert for more information, drive them to your website rather than a Facebook page.  In other words, you don’t have to have Facebook page to advertise on Facebook.

 

Facebook as an advertising medium has a number of distinct advantages:

  • There are huge number of people on Facebook, and they visit it frequently
  • You can target precisely, especially by geographical area
  • People feel closer to smaller businesses in their area than big faceless corporation, and it feels less intrusive in their timelines

 

For a free, no-obligation look at a digital advertising proposal for your business, click here.

 

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