Does your business need a Facebook Fan Page? (Like or Dislike)I know you may need Facebook. It is an effective way to stay in touch with your colleagues, friends, family and larger set of acquaintances. Twitter, Pinterest and Klout represent just a few of the myriad platforms available for connecting to different groups of people online.

 Let’s start by sharing.

Are you a business starting a brand-new Facebook Page? Then this post is for you! Begin by perusing the following infographics describing opportunities for using social media in business:

Yet despite these rosy statistics, I’m here to suggest that you do not need a Facebook Page for your business today for the following reasons:

1. The time commitment for managing multiple communities.

Checking each social platform takes only a few minutes, right? Yet content management creation and curation always looms, even when managed effectively (by repurposing both your own and other people’s content) across social platforms. Furthermore, each platform requires a slightly different strategy for effective engagement to occur.

But tried-and-true time-savers like these – proven effective in streamlining activity across social media networks – also require a portion of your valuable daily or weekly routine:

  • Sharing a variation of the same content over all social media platforms.
  • Sitting down to engage others on their preferred platform.
  • Having everything route to your mobile device for added convenience.
  • Use of automated content curation programs to bring content to your audience.

2. You can’t go anywhere without checking in every few minutes.

Recently, I experienced a bit of social media overload…always checking to see what was going on, having alerts on for the app, and even (the naked truth) taking time in the bathroom when brushing my teeth and using the toilet to stay connected.

What’s your story? You may have one better than mine….

Even with a complete marketing schedule that embraces the benefits of social media marketing, the lure of connecting with people online, all the time, is overwhelming for a community manager of multiple online groups.

We know how email can take over people’s lives. Whether or not that’s the case for you, social media – though always productive work – brings similar challenges with the ever-increasing number of available platforms and connections.

3. Your target audience doesn’t use Facebook for business.

Which means you will have to post (and schedule automated posts) when your target audience is on Facebook and hope they might be in the mood for the content you’re sharing. Providing information to uninterested people is an uphill battle.

4. An unending commitment to learning – and staying current with – an often-changing and morphing system.

Ensuring your Facebook content is visible in the news feed for those who Like your page is an art comprising evolving best practices to maximize your content being seen and people that Liked your page want to come back on their own for your content you are sharing.

Devoting a finite number of work hours to staying current and relevant in an industry, and remaining up-to-date with ever-changing online marketing opportunities, you will have to forever keep pace with Facebook’s process modifications.

Our businesses revolve around the communities we create. We don’t have to have to have thriving communities in every single social media platform out there…

5. The rest of your marketing takes a back seat to your Facebook community.

Every industry uses time-intensive online and offline marketing. So far, I’ve only talked about considering where not to be online. Many advantageous aspects of targeted offline marketing may be lost in the mad dash to focus on Facebook. For example:

  • Other marketing efforts build awareness of your website and virtual community to help people connect with you online.
  • All the marketing messages are a variation on a theme – so the same ideas are shared in multiple outlets to bring awareness to your product.
  • The ability to repurpose such content is an essential skill for which to cultivate and make time – identical content seen everywhere carries stigma (most definitely not conducive to building an online community).

6. Facebook is not where content lives.

Facebook is a medium to create relationships and foster a community. The information shared is to educate, share, help and make fans comfortable. Content shared that is your own points people back to content on a website you own and maintain – the core of your online business. While social media platforms provide an easy way to distribute content and build community, your website is where customers ultimately purchase your product.

No matter what, you own the content you post on your websites and blog. Facebook is not a replacement for them.

7. There is a lot of competition for attention on Facebook.

Starting a successful Facebook Page today is much more problematic than when the platform was new. The difficulties arise from sheer number of users combined with the way Pages work in the overall Facebook experience (i.e. how one remains connected to groups of people). Therefore, you need to know if the people you’re targeting want to be contacted there.

Facebook advertising contradicts the theory that social media marketing requires only time and energy. You’re trying to be smart – and frugal – about spending money from a business perspective, right?  To explore this point further, read an article called “Disruptions: As User Interaction on Facebook Drops, Sharing Comes at a Cost.”

8. Letting your Page become stale looks worse than not having one.

Not sure if you are committed to the time required? Will other tasks become a priority over the Facebook Page when time and resources stretch thin? Do you believe a non-updated Facebook page is relevant?

Entering the world of Facebook Pages to build an interactive, enjoyable, and healthy community requires dedication. It requires relevant and current content so people view the Facebook Page as an extension of your business where you make audience connections. A portion of dedicated resources is absolutely essential; know if you can add it without making changes, or if reallocating resources from another piece of your marketing mix is necessary.

Strange coincidences abound. Shortly after I published this piece, Nick Bilton, a New York Times technology reporter and Bits blog writer (whose article I cited above), shared how Facebook advertising may impact what appears in the news feed. His insights aired on the NPR radio program Here and Now in “Is Facebook Suppressing Un-Promoted Posts?

Choose to Thrive.

Besides your website and blog, building an online community is the next most important business goal. Expect to put in effort and time to build a community around your products. But it doesn’t have to be through Facebook! In fact, you could replace Facebook throughout this post with any number of existing social media platforms, complete with a similar list of why not to use them.  You only need one online community; there is no need to build another, even if it’s not Facebook. Focus that energy on the experience for your existing community.

There is more than one way to achieve effective results, and each business is unique to the product positioning and culture – i.e. the fundamental elements defining what will be best for your business. Select a platform on which to build a community that enhances relationships with the people who matter to you and your business.

Relish in the fact that you have choice.  You do not need to do everything just because it is possible. Make choices that drive excellence and quality to thrive.

 

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