I know it's heresy to tell you to get off Facebook.
But, I'm not kidding.
And it's not because of the obvious psychological and social issues that you create for yourself by investing too much time with "friends" who aren't. Or the way you and I seek to validate ourselves by looking for the approval of our "friends" based on the number of "likes" of our status. Or the voyeurism that is fed on Facebook as you peer into the train-wrecks of your "friends'" private lives. You know, the parts that should stay private.
Ok, I'm better now.
Actually, if you're a business owner who is trying to "grow your company on Facebook." I'm here to set the record straight and help you get focused on what really works for bringing in new customers. It's not a magical potion, or some cool new trick. It takes work. But it will actually bring you new business.
Sure, Facebook is "social" and all the other cool stuff. But have you seen real results of new customers because of your activity on there? If not, it's time for a reality check. (BTW, you should check this on Google Analytics. It helps clear the fog very quickly.)
You should be focusing on activities that yield the maximum results for your hard work.
Do More With Your Time
With the time and effort you're spending on Facebook, you could actually achieve some pretty astounding results on your website. I figured it up. If you're currently spending 30 minutes a day on Facebook, you could write one to two pretty amazing posts for your business blog each week. Do that for 4-6 months, and you'll have a website that is bringing new customers to your site. If your site is built correctly, you'll begin to convert those "lookers" into "leads."
Good business reasons why you should get off Facebook:
- Only a small portion of your "fans" are actually seeing your updates. (17% or so according to this research.) If you make a post without a photo, the results are downright depressing.
- Posts you make on Facebook are only "temporary" in nature. The best studies show that the visibility of one of your posts begins to diminish after 4 hours. So, unless you're going to post every 4 hours (with a photo, of course), you can forget about any kind of "permanence."
- The posts you make on Facebook don't gain you any traction for search engines, where most of your potential customers are looking when they're ready to make a purchasing decision. Google doesn't even index them, because Facebook doesn't allow it.
- Facebook owns your data. You don't. Whenever they change or decide to pack it up and do something different, you'll lose everything.
- Unless you're able to get your fans to click "Like" or comment or share your post, Facebook will assume they don't care about you and will hide your posts from their news feeds. (If you'd like some practical advice on keeping your fans clicking and "liking", I do have a few ideas, if you're into that. Just signup for my email newsletter at the bottom of the page.)
Even better reasons why you should use your newly-found time to start blogging for your business:
- When you write a blog post that deals with a question or topic that is on your customer's mind, you're actually doing a service for them. Customers appreciate that.
- If you write a blog post with your unique point of view and your expertise, you establish yourself as the "go-to" source for that topic.
- Google loves to find these blog posts and serve them up for customers looking for answers. (Some people call this search engine marketing, but really, that's just a powerful by-product of caring enough about your customers to answer their questions.) In other words, as you write, more and more customers can actually find you.
- When you post something good to your blog, you actually have something worthwhile for your customers to "share" and "like" and "comment" on if you do decide to stick it out with Facebook. Or you tweet, or you try Linked In. Your blog is the hub of information for your social efforts. One of the best ways to get the news out about a new post is to send it out to your email marketing list. See how these things all feed off of each other?
- Every post you place on your website continues to work for you for the lifetime of your site. That's something you just won't get through social efforts or paying for ads.
- The more you write, the more opportunities you have to bring in new customers. There's a direct correlation.
- You own your information. That means you can easily reformat your information and make bunches of other content based on the work you've already done. And you don't have to worry about it disappearing. (Especially, if you backup your WordPress site.)
If you'd like to get some help figuring out how to get starting with blogging for your business, I'd be glad to do some internet consulting with you. Or, if you think you'd like to maximize even more of your time and have my company do your business blogging for you.
Whatever the case, it's time to quit playing on Facebook and get serious with some business blogging. I guarantee your businesses' bottom-line will "like" it.
P.S. There are actually some companies who can benefit from Facebook. These are usually businesses that are highly visual and who create this content as a part of their normal course of business. Photographers, designers, and unique retail products are good examples of this type of business. If you're not a business like this, you'll have to get super creative with talking to your fans to make it worthwhile at all. But anyone can blog.