Facebook for Small Business … understand the downside

Whilst many small business owners have taken to Facebook to promote their business … is it really the best platform to promote and endorse?

For most … it’s quick … it’s easy … and it’s seen by the masses … and that’s all that matters as far as marketing is concerned.

Little thought is put into how FB marketing will actually affect a business, especially negatively, so here’s the short on it all.

  1. You don’t have control. You are not in total control of your FB page and the FB people can hijack your page at any time. This is evident through the regular rule and policy changes.
  2. One negative review can undo all the good … fast. It just takes one negative review to be posted and seen to damage your business. This can be crippling for a small business in a small town.
  3. FB marketing is time consuming. If done properly, FB marketing is time consuming. Regularly and consistent posting and watching for negative feedback and comments takes time. There are better ways to market your business without encouraging your employees to spend hours on FB updating and watching for negative comments.
  4. Lots of likes and views and stars doesn’t mean you’re reaching your target audience. A FB page can be seen my many, but are these the people who’ll frequent your store or business? Are they really?
  5. Competitors can stalk you. Staying ahead in a competitive world often means staying ahead of a competitor. FB can give competitors the tools they need to know your business inside and out. Your competitors can use your own FB marketing strategy to compete against you. I’ve also seen competitor advertising that appears when searching for a specific business. Of course, you too, can use this information should your competitors be on FB.
  6. Facebook is crowded. This can be a negative if your business is lost due to inconsistent posts and not understanding or effectively targeting your demographic. Nobody looks at outdated content and will see your business in a negative way should they visit only to see the last post was 10th Sept 1989.
  7. How long will it be free for business? We all know nothing is free and eventually you’ll pay in one way or another, especially if you’re not paying for advertising on FB. Consider the implications should FB become “not free”. Are you better off spending your money on a professional website and simple marketing strategy that targets the right people from the very beginning?

These are just some of the disadvantages I see with FB marketing. I’m not saying don’t have a FB page for your business … FB can be beneficial when done properly … more understand the risks and don’t rely solely on FB for your marketing strategy.

A well thought-out marketing strategy will use a combination of print and digital media … not just Facebook. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg … just be well planned and executed.