What kinds of businesses should bother with a Facebook page?
July 01, 2012 at 2:37 PM
You’re a small business, and you keep hearing about how you’ve got to get on Facebook. Although it’s free, running an effective Facebook page takes a lot of time and energy. Here’s the thing – social media doesn’t make sense for the vast majority of small businesses. If you’re not a business that “fits” with social media, there’s a thousand better ways to spend your time. So what businesses actually work on Facebook?
Businesses that people are passionate about
Die hard pizza nuts will drive across Auckland for a slice of Sal’s famous New York pizza. All the ingredients are imported from the original Sal’s Pizzeria in New York - it’s the real deal. Not only that, they run ESPN and you can watch the game and have a Bud while you knock back your authentic Pepperoni slice. People who have been to the states and got hooked on New York pizza praised the pizza gods the day that Sal’s opened in Auckland. They “liked” them, told their friends about them, and came in to watch on Super Bowl Sunday. You know why? Because Sal’s posted on Facebook that if the team they were supporting won, Pizza was on the house. If you’re just some local pizza joint with average pizza that nobody really cares about, forget Facebook. Spend your time learning to make better pizza instead.
Businesses that get people talking
Ok, if you’re Joe the plumber, forget Facebook. Someone has a leaky tap, and you fix it. That’s not something people congregate on a Facebook page to talk about. Better you spend your time under a sink than writing status updates. “Fixed a leaky drain today – hard yaka” won’t get too many comments.
But let’s say you’re a different kind of plumbing company. Let’s say that you target single women, and your staff are a bunch of good looking young blokes. At the end of every job you leave your awestruck customer not only with her tap fixed, but with a complimentary pin up calendar of your exceptionally good looking team (think Fire Service fundraising calendar), and she realises that Mr. October just fixed her tap.
This is called a “talkable point of difference.” It’s not industry specific. It’s doing something that makes someone say “Wow, I didn’t expect that!” Now what’s more likely for her to “like,” recommend, and talk to the girls at work about – the plumbing company that fixed her tap or the one who sent her Mr. October?
Businesses with interesting, vibrant cultures
One of the major advantages Facebook has, is it allows followers to get a feeling for who your company really are as people. Companies with a vibrant, different, or interesting work culture and environment can use Facebook as a way to let their customer’s really connect with them. By having an open dialogue with your customers on your wall, letting them see what your passions are, who your people are, or what you got up to on that big company birthday bash, the barriers between company and customer are taken away.
That being said, if you’re just a business as usual company with a bunch of people quietly tapping away in a cubicle farm, social media may not be the way to go.
In a nutshell, if you’re not a business that people REALLY care about with a “talkable point of difference” or a business with a vibe and culture that people want to connect with, social media probably isn’t worth the time investment.
A parting thought...
If after reading this, you’ve realised your business isn’t a good fit for social media, you may have some soul searching to do. Take a real look at your business, and find ways you can change your value proposition in a way that will get people talking, and really caring about what you do. Social media aside, businesses with customers who are passionate advocates for them in the market place tend to do pretty well, Facebook page or not.