With 800 million users worldwide, and operating in 70 languages, Facebook has become the world’s meeting place. Big brands like Coca-Cola and McDonalds have embraced it, your customers and clients probably have personal accounts, setting up a page is free, and very easy.
So should your business be there too?
My view on this is a resounding “it depends”. Take this quick quiz to help you decide whether to get friendly with Facebook, or to market your business on other social media platforms.
- Are you in the travel, food, hospitality or leisure industry?
- Do you have lots of good pictures and video content to share?
- Does your business interest people beyond their working lives?
- Does your business inspire people? Do you have a meaningful mission?
If you answer yes to most of the above, then Facebook is definitely for you.
Not so much
- When you talk about your business at dinner parties do people’s faces light up?
- Is your business a source of great anecdotes?
- Do you help your clients achieve a transferable skill, something not purely work based?
- Does your business create loyal fans who love to share what you do?
If you answer mostly no, then I’d suggest you divert your energies elsewhere.
Why Facebook is for some businesses and not for others
Facebook is a social network; rather it’s still the social network. Facebook’s millions of users update their status regularly with personal stuff. Where they’re going, how they’re feeling, what they did last night. They share things that make them laugh, rant about things that annoy them, laugh, talk, flirt, argue. All human life is there, sometimes in rather more detail than you actually wanted.
In short it’s a vibrant, noisy, lively place where people let their hair down. If your business fits well into this upbeat, social environment, then starting a Facebook page for your business is an excellent idea.
However for an accountancy business, or a firm of commercial surveyors, I’d suggest that maybe Facebook isn’t the right place to be. Ask yourself whether the updates you’d be able to post will look at ease between your neighbour’s holiday snaps and a video of a cat playing the violin.
I’d venture that “Don’t forget to file your tax return by Thursday!” or “Is your business compliant with the Code for Leasing Business Practises 2007?” won’t make you any friends. You’ll be the person standing in the corner at the party asking for the music to be turned down, the one wearing a suit on dress down Friday.