Why Your Business Doesn’t Need a Facebook Fan page

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Let me ask you a question. How many people do you suppose use Facebook each day? Well, according to recent numbers released by Facebook, there are 400 million Facebook users with registered accounts and around 50% of them log in to check their pages at least once a day, so 200 million seems like a pretty good guess.

I know what you’re thinking now: “Wow look at all that traffic! Look at all those opportunities for my business! I should be on Facebook!”

Facebook Fan Page

Stop it. Right now. Your business does NOT need a Facebook presence. You do NOT need a promotions page, (with a few certain exceptions) you do NOT need a profile for your company, and you certainly do NOT need 2389498 people on your fan page. Here’s why:

Facebook users only look around and socialize:
– Facebook is a social platform. Facebook’s users get online to connect with friends, upload pictures, update their status and play Farmville. They aren’t there to look for stuff to buy. Who here has had experience with Digg or Stumbleupon? Do you get traffic from those sites to your blog? Do they buy anything?

Facebook users don’t want to buy stuff:

– Facebook users are young. Despite parents slowly picking it up, the majority of Facebook users are under 35, with a significant chunk of them in college or recent graduates. Guess what? College students don’t have money to buy your product! It doesn’t matter how great it is-they don’t have the money. It depends on your product, but I’d be willing to bet that 50% or more of web marketers are promoting or selling products that will NOT take precedence over things like rent payments, car leases, textbooks and laptops.

Facebook users only like things they care about:

– People only go out and become fans (or ‘like’, I guess it’s ‘like now) of things they CARE about. Every day I am bombarded with hundreds of notifications on my Facebook page about my friends liking things I just don’t give a damn about. I ignore each and every one of them. Why are you making a Facebook fan page? To raise awareness about your business? Facebook users only ‘like’ things they CARE about. They don’t care about your business if they don’t know it exists, so stop fooling yourself.

Creating constant content :
Once you start a facebook fan page, it has to be maintained. Fans and friends have to be invited. Content has to be updated. Invitations to stuff have to be ignored (in my case anyway). Managing a business Facebook page is a high-time investment that sees very little ROI.

Eventually you’ll be so stuck in a rut of updating your promotions and coupons, changing your status, sending out a round of invitations and trying to make people care about your business, you’ll forget what your business was originally about-selling stuff to make people happy. How did you forget? By spending all your time trying to sell stuff to people who don’t know your product exists and are NEVER happy.

Exceptions-

There are a few exceptions to the rules I have just laid down. There are a few things that you can promote successfully on Facebook to Facebook users without crashing and burning-or even in a best case scenario, just wasting a lot of your time.

The most important of those are local or regional experiences. Facebook allows you to promote to users in a certain region or network. This can be especially useful when you have a small business located near a university, since you can specifically target users that attend that university. This is effective if you own a restaurant, bar or club.

If you have one of these establishments, or something similar, you should certainly be promoting on Facebook. The secret to a successful Facebook campaigns is to keep updating constantly. Facebook users have been taught to have a 5 second attention span. You need to give them reasons to return to the Facebook profile and check what your company is offering now. Free drinks on Tuesdays? Buy one pizza, get one 50% off? VIP entrance until 12 PM? Facebook is very good for these sort of things, because it spreads information quickly to the people that CARE about the things you have to offer.

I’d love to hear from the readers about their thoughts on Facebook for small businesses. What works? What doesn’t?

This is a guest post by David Fishman, blogger and search engine marketer lives and works in Atlanta, GA. He is an employee at Response Mine Interactive, a digital marketing agency specializing in direct response advertising.Contact us if you want to guest post on this blog.

Article by ZK

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Profit Addiction May 20, 2010, 9:22 am

    I agree with you completely. I see VERY little traffic from my page, on top of the very little exposure.
    .-= Profit Addiction´s last blog ..The Secret to Endless Profits =-.

  • ZK May 20, 2010, 10:30 am

    Thanks David for this post , slightly debatable but that’s just my view 🙂

    Facebook has a huge user base which may not be tempted to buy at the first instance but with a fan page you can build a relationship with the audience. Once you build a relationship with the audience, sales will follow. Facebook fan pages are a great place to build brands, products and services.

    Every marketer should have a fan page for his product or service and work to build a community on facebook.

    • Aluminum Laptop Cases May 20, 2010, 5:22 pm

      Yes this is a controversial subject, but then again what blog isn’t trying some kind of link baiting. It is interesting how much you disagree with your guest poster ZK. I guess people’s experiences can drastically change their opinion about something. I guess the guest poster just happened to waste a lot of time promoting on facebook in the past.

      • ZK May 20, 2010, 11:17 pm

        This is a great guest post by David else it would not be up. I don’t disagree with the post, everything does not work for everyone, you need to find what works for you and use that as a base to grow your business.

        • David May 21, 2010, 3:26 pm

          Hey ZK. I tried to respond to this earlier, but I guess it didn’t post for some reason. Let’s see how much of it I can remember…

          First, I want to thank ZK for the opportunity to guest-post on his blog. It’s great to see such a developed community of bloggers such as you have here.

          I’ll admit that I may be playing Devil’s Advocate a small amount. I have seen facebook campaign’s do incredibly well, and I have seem them suck up enormous amounts of time and energy for naught.

          I myself use facebook to do some promotional work for a local nightclub. I would say, in fact, that my work with the nightclub revolves entirely around facebook. It just happens to be the best way to connect with the local college crowd. I have watched other restaurants and bars use facebook with great success.

          I maintain, however, that for the greater part of businesses, large and small, social media facebook is best suited for

          1. Gathering awareness for an established company’s new product launch (check Mountain Dew).
          2. Addressing consumer concerns and providing a personalized level of one-to-one customer service (Comcast comes to mind).

          However, since most of us as small business owners don’t have to concern ourselves with giant product launches or customer service issues (that we couldn’t deal with through email already), we just don’t NEED facebook. It isn’t hurting, but it isn’t helping either, and the time it takes to maintain it is just wasted.

          • Aluminum Laptop Cases May 25, 2010, 1:37 pm

            Fair enough. I would agree that for most sites facebook promotion may be wasted time. There are so many marketers who aren’t sure how to promote something, so they jump on board any trends they hear about. This includes doing things like creating facebook profiles and posting on twitter. While others may have had success with it, it is not guaranteed to work well for everyone.

  • Julius May 20, 2010, 3:38 pm

    This definitely gives a different perspective on facebook fan pages. I also think that if your fan page aims to promote awareness about the needs of certain user groups (in addition to your company), then maintaining that fan page is still worth it.
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..The Challenges of Internet Users with Low or limited Vision =-.

  • PPC Ian May 21, 2010, 12:09 am

    Very cool post! I haven’t built out my Facebook fan page just yet. This post probably delayed that project in favor of higher priorities right now.
    .-= PPC Ian´s last blog ..Review: Make Money Online By John Chow =-.

  • Curtain Rails May 21, 2010, 3:58 am

    I am 100% agree that we do not need Fan page, Fan page is for only those who are already popular in the market such as Pepsi, McDonald etc. and want to build a relationship with their product lovers, only to sustain in the market and also to get some suggestions, improvement product etc. while for new business I prefer not to create Fan page. This is my opinion, so ot depend up to what works for you.

  • Mathew Day May 21, 2010, 3:50 am

    I don’t even use Facebook yet for promoting or marketing but I agree with ZK.

    You don’t use FB to directly make sales from people. FB is all about building relationships and meeting new people. Later down the road once they get to know you and trust you, then they’ll be more likely to listen to your suggestions and make a purchase from you.
    .-= Mathew Day´s last blog ..How to Make Real Money Online Blogging =-.

    • David May 21, 2010, 3:30 pm

      Ah, but therein lies the problem. So many people are treating facebook as a money source-a direct method of monetization.

      There’s also a slew of companies who feel that they need a facebook page to keep up with the social media furor, but don’t have any clue what they’ll use it for, leading to misguided programs and wasted efforts.

      If you can afford to establish a facebook page to build up brand loyalty and establish long-term customer satisfaction, more power to you. For many small business owners, the real hurdle is selling their FIRST product, about introducing themselves to consumers. Introducing themselves through a fan page for a product or company no one knows about (or necessarily care about) is doomed to failure, IMO.

  • FX15 May 21, 2010, 6:37 am

    I agree with you completely.
    .-= FX15´s last blog ..FX15 İlacının Başarısı ! =-.

  • Web Design May 21, 2010, 7:13 am

    Facebook seems to work really well with local, especially food and entertainment joints. If you’re catering to the trendy crowd (which most youngsters are) then it is a great medium to reach your targeted audience. My friend plays in a band, and they use facebook to keep their fan base informed of the gigs they’re playing, which works really well.

  • Komodo Dragon May 21, 2010, 11:32 am

    I guess it all depends what you are really looking to get out of facebook, if anything the biggest thing facebook can do for you is to build awareness of your business or website. I will say that one of the biggest questions and doubts I’ve always had in my mind of why I fear using social media like facebook/twitter has been the fact that people will tend to stay on facebook/twitter for the updates as opposed to coming onto the website to read the blog posts. But in retrospect, it is probably better to have more awareness of your website.

  • Mayweather vs Pacquiao May 22, 2010, 12:09 am

    Facebook’s users get online to connect with friends, upload pictures, update their status and play Farmville. They aren’t there to look for stuff to buy.
    .-= Mayweather vs Pacquiao´s last blog ..Pacquiao OK for blood test, Mayweather bout continue =-.

  • Liam Kiggen May 23, 2010, 7:06 am

    I agree, FB takes a huge amount of effort marketing to the Social Media set and you end up neglecting what your core business is all about. And the ROI is tiny. I’m at the stage where I would rather just hire a youngster to update our social media pages and if it just pays their salary well great but other than that it requires too much of my time.

  • Engrape Financier May 23, 2010, 7:45 am

    Even if your fans are not into products, there are chances that you can capture their interest right?
    .-= Engrape Financier´s last blog ..Remarks =-.

    • Komodo Dragon May 24, 2010, 10:36 pm

      @Engrape, I would say so!

  • Logo Service May 25, 2010, 12:32 am

    Ok, that’s informative to know about the facebook users. This post is nice.

  • Sebastian Akiyama July 1, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I personally recognize Twitter is the best social network artists can get promotion. Many well-known celebs/artists right now started from Twitter. Exactly like Marie Digby and Arnel Pineda, the new vocalist of the music group Journey. Several of them are having a power tool like to get the real fans in a “dirty way”.

  • Jassen Bowman July 30, 2010, 11:21 am

    It’s very refreshing to see another Internet marketer actually come out and say what many of us already think and know. I’ve used Facebook as a marketing component for three different businesses I’ve worked with, and it was all for naught. There are certain products and services which Facebook (and MySpace) are great marketing platforms for, but not for everybody. For my primary service, I do maintain a Facebook ads campaign, but it delivers almost no traffic. I keep it going because one new client for that service pays for several years worth of Facebook pay-per-clicks.

    Facebook could be very useful in other sectors, such as real estate, network marketing, etc. But it most certainly isn’t for everybody or every product. In reality, though, this comes down to the age old marketing mantra: You gotta test.

  • smart metering August 26, 2010, 1:09 am

    I agree that Facebook is not only a platform for promoting or markting your business. Nowadays people use facebook as a fan page and promote their business. Its good sometimes you can create a little regarding a business but its not like you always try to grow your business with such a great networking site where one can build good relationship, sharing some good insight or communicate well.