Facebook is a great free service to help small business owners market to prospective customers. But it shouldn’t be your only means of marketing.
When I first meet with a prospective advertiser, one of the first question I ask is “how do customers become aware of your business?” Inevitably, many small business owners reply that they receive most of their business from word of mouth and that they market on their free Facebook Page. For some, Facebook is their only means of marketing. They use Facebook as their marketing tool, website, and means of communicating with customers. While there is no doubt that Facebook and other social media platforms are an important part of a broad digital marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be your only means of marketing your business. Here’s why:
1. Facebook is a free service and owns all content.
Facebook is free to change the design, layout and look of your business page. That means they could make changes that adversely affect your business. They are in control, not you.
2. Audience limitations
One comment I often hear is “I have x number of followers already” I reply “That’s great ! The more followers and customers you have engaged with your business, the better.” But what about people who aren’t on Facebook or don’t follow you? How do you reach them? 55% of the North American population is not on Facebook so you need to have a strategy and other tools to reach that population to grow your business.
3. Lack of detailed analytics
“Who are you Customers?” I usually ask this question to a prospective advertiser. Often, answers are vague “It seems like I get an older crowd with some younger customers…etc.” While Free Facebook offers some insights to help you target, it’s rather limited in its helpfulness. With a dedicated website with Google Analytics, you can explore who is visiting, what pages and products they are considering, how long they spend on your site and demographic information like gender, income level, age and more. Armed with this data, you can target to specific audiences to increase effectiveness for your marketing campaigns.
Overall, Facebook is great free tool to help get the word out about your business and services. But used alone, it may fall short in creating the exposure that you need to help your business grow.