Using Facebook for Marketing: Is It Right for Your Small Business?

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It’s easy to think there are one billion good reasons for your small business to have a presence on Facebook. While Facebook is certainly a popular network and while it makes sense for many businesses to have a presence, one size doesn’t fit all. Is it the right fit for your business? Here are seven questions to consider.

1. Do you and your team enjoy using Facebook? We’re not saying you need to love it or be passionate about it 100% of the time. But you can’t hate it. Social media doesn’t work unless you’re committed to being social and using it. So it’s important that you – or someone on your team – not only “gets” Facebook, but also has fun using it.

2. Is there some other aspect of your business that you should be focusing on first? If your product needs updating or your sales team just doesn’t care anymore or your customer service falls apart the moment people call in, then you have bigger problems to deal with. The best Facebook page in the world isn’t going to solve issues with business fundamentals. Better to focus on righting the sinking ship before hiring a band to entertain the guests.

3. Do you have the people-power to invest in it? While Facebook does keep adding features that helps make page management easier (we love the new admin roles and the ability to schedule status updates), it takes a team effort to create an effective page. No, not tons of people, but a couple anyway.

4. What are your goals? Before you dive into Facebook, you should be clear about your goals and expectations. If you’re looking for something to provide immediate lead generation and sales, Facebook probably isn’t the medium for you to focus on (a good inbound marketing program would make more sense). If, however, you’re looking to engage customers and prospects and build a community of fans who will buy from you over time – and refer you to others – then Facebook is a smart choice for your business.

5. Are you in it for the long haul? See our point above. You can’t measure return on investment (ROI) in the same way you do with other purchases. Facebook is about relationship marketing, and, as is the case with all relationships, building a solid one takes time and effort.

6. Do you have a plan for weaving Facebook into your overall marketing strategy? It’s not enough to simply have a killer business page. You need to promote the fact your business is on Facebook. This means adding the Facebook icon throughout your website, on printed materials, on print and digital ads, on promotional products, etc. Your overall marketing plan should include a strategy for using Facebook throughout the year. The old “if you build it, they will come” mentality does not apply.

7. Are you prepared to have some fun and let go of conventional ideas about how you should and shouldn’t talk to customers and prospects? The way you interact with people on Facebook will be more casual than the way you would in some other forms of communication. It’s important to note that “casual” doesn’t mean “unprofessional.” Instead, “casual” means talking to people because they’re simply that: people. For example, we love how Paper Mate’s Facebook page has created a fun, interactive way to think about one of the company’s products, InkJoy pens, with its “World’s Most Stolen Pen” concept. It’s fun, casual, and professional all at the same time.

At Amsterdam Printing, we love Facebook (that’s a screenshot of our Timeline below – be sure to like us!), but it’s just one aspect of our overall marketing strategy.

Amsterdam Printing on Facebook
So, tell us: do you use Facebook for your business? If yes, how is it working out? If no, what made you decide to forgo it, at least for now? Share in the comments.

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