Advice

Is Facebook Becoming Obsolete for Business?

A few years ago Facebook business pages were just a pipe dream – now everyone who’s anyone has a Facebook fan page, business page, or personal page. If you’re running a business and social media marketing is part of your overall outreach plan, how do you know when to give up the ghost when it comes to investing in Facebook?

The Facebook brand has been through a lot of ups and downs in the last few years, particularly back in mid-2012 when the company went public. Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has grown to the largest social network in the world and to one of the most visited websites at that, with over one billion active users.

Business pages and Fan pages are both only a few years old, but have quickly become a necessary requirement for social marketers. Whether your business should have a “Business” page or a “Fan” page will really depend on your specific industry but in general, a Fan page is best as it provides the most leverage for your brand. Some companies have both, but that’s a great way to dilute your message.

The question is, is it really necessary to have a Facebook page for your business? In a word: yes. As of March 2013 Facebook had over 15 million business, fan, and organization pages on file and the reality is if your business isn’t among them, you’re behind. Customers are increasingly looking to a business’s Facebook page to find standard information like hours and address as well as details on current events and promotions.

There is no magic number for “likes” to shoot for once you’ve created a business or fan page. The key is the amount of engagement you have with your page – your business could get a lot more business from 100 active followers than they would from 1,000 disinterested “friends.” There are a few things you can do to ensure you’re not just spinning your wheels on your Fan page, and actually using social media to your business’ advantage. Don’t just show up to the game…play hard!

First and foremost, studies show that certain kinds of posts get far more engagement than others. Generally, posts that contain a photo get about 40% more traffic than those that don’t, and posts that use emoticons get about 57% more “likes” than those that don’t. Note: use emoticons only if they make sense for your brand (If you have to ask yourself if they do, they probably don’t.)

Here’s the really meaty data. Over 30% of all Facebook users say they’ve liked a Fan page to participate in a contest of some kind, and 42% say they’ve liked a page to score a deal or discount. Blame Groupon if you must, but these numbers don’t lie. If you want to squeeze value out of your Facebook business efforts you’ve got to offer something back.

Standing out in a sea of Facebook business pages takes work. If you’re going to have a presence on Facebook you’ve got to commit to updating it regularly, otherwise your brand will look stale. The more you put in the more you’re likely to get out, just like any other marketing routine. So is Facebook for business becoming obsolete? Hardly.

This guest post is courtesy of Ryan Currie. He is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development.  In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.

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Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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