Should your business be on Facebook or is it a waste of time?

January 22, 2015

Some people might look at the more than 1.2 billion Facebook accounts and figure that more than 10% of the world's population is active on the social media giant. However, these numbers are misleading for several reasons. First, some people have as many as a dozen different accounts on Facebook for personal use. Some Facebook accounts are also registered to businesses, because the idea is that a reliable social media campaign is necessary for commercial success. However, some of these businesses are gaining nothing from their Facebook pages, because their customers are composed of the more than six billion people who don't use the site as well as businesses that do not use the site.

Does Every Business Need to be on Facebook?

The opportunity to advertise to hundreds of millions of potential customers seems like a great reason for a business to be on Facebook. However, Facebook is not the sales goldmine some businesses think it might be. Facebook is dominated by people who are under 18 years old as 73 % of children 12-17 use the site daily. Therefore, businesses that sell products and services to adults, especially middle age adult and seniors may not find much success from advertising on Facebook. Even General Motors, The US's largest advertiser, has stopped advertising on Facebook altogether because of unsatisfactory returns on their investments. GM has the resources and personnel to determine if their advertising is effective, but small businesses may not be so fortunate. This is why brick and mortar businesses should be very careful and conservative about  advertising on Facebook. However, having a free Facebook landing page for businesses can't hurt anything. In fact, it might even draw in the occasional customer. Even though GM has stopped advertising on FB, there are certain companies that depend heavily upon the success of social media advertising.

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Most people turn to Facebook to be kept current on social issues with friends and family, so advertising is seen as a nuisance. However, online retailers and gaming sites may benefit from advertising on Facebook. These businesses can benefit from impulse buying while traditional businesses can not. A dating site can run adds on FB and add links to their site. Their customers go to the site and use PayPal or a credit or debit card to pay for a membership. Online stores and gaming sites also benefit from this form of advertising, because the entire transaction takes place online. As long as the retailer can sell products over the web, FB advertising may be a good advertising channel. even free sites like the search engine Bing are able to successfully use FB ads.

It seems like people are growing tired of Facebook and Princeton University researchers agree. According to a study conducted by the Ivy League school, FB will lose more than 80% of its users over the next two years. These findings are based upon declining searches for Facebook in the top search engines. However, the site currently remains a decent free marketing channel because it costs nothing to create your Facebook business page and it can even be customized to look like any site on the web. The Static HTML FB app permits users to add custom HTML to the FB page so it catches more people's attention. In short, every business should have a free Facebook page, but you should be conservative and careful about advertising on Facebook and make sure to measure your Facebook advertising to see if it generating leads and sales or just wasting your money.


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