Facebook is a thriving community that every business must strongly consider as they develop a marketing plan. With nearly 2 billion people using the site at some point and about 1 billion users who login at least once per month, that is a massive population dynamic that cannot be ignored. As with any marketing effort, however, there are certain costs associated with the program that may not make it a good fit for some companies. If you’re thinking about the pros and cons of Facebook for Business, then here are some of the key points to consider before signing up.
Here Are the Pros of Facebook For Business
As Facebook likes to say, you know your business, but Facebook knows people. There is a wealth of data that people willingly share online to their family, friends, or public profile that can be highly beneficial for businesses of any size. Whether you sell in a traditional brick and mortar shop, have an online presence only, or you freelance through an app, Facebook for Business can put you in touch with your targeted demographics instantly. Here are some of the other positive outcomes that can be experienced when using Facebook for Business for your next marketing effort.
1. It is a simple way to begin driving online sales.
Facebook for Business makes it very easy to reach out to your targeted demographics no matter which industry your business happens to operate within. Once a page is setup, your business can reach customers with a custom audience, choose specific demographic groups for ad targeting, and boost posts so they are seen in newsfeeds more frequently to generate more engagement.
2. It is highly affordable.
Starting a basic Facebook page for your business is free. You can post content to your page for free that includes links to your own site, products, or sales pages. You can add a Facebook store to your page for free. Post boosting is available for as little as $5 and even advertising is relatively affordable if it isn’t mass marketed to every Facebook user. This makes it possible for even the smallest businesses to drive certain marketing points home effectively.
3. Relationships are easy to build and this enhances local sales.
Facebook for Business makes it a lot easier for companies to reach out to their local community to engage with their customer base. Anyone who is interested in your local business can find everything they need to know to pay you a visit on any platform they prefer. PCs, tablets, and smartphones are all compatible with this marketing program.
4. Your business can be tagged in posts by brand ambassadors.
Every business has brand ambassadors, whether they are actively recruited or not. These ambassadors are so passionate about what you do as a business that they freely share their positive experiences with their family and friends. Facebook for Business allows these ambassadors to easily tag your profile in a post with a simple “@” command and this post then appears on your page as well.
5. You can promote specific products, even if they are just digital products.
Whether you have a new social game to promote or you’ve created a mobile app for your business, the structure of targeting that Facebook for Business provides allows you to reach core customers and their clones in any market to enhance the awareness which exists for your brand. You can then keep these targeted folks engaged thanks to ads that follow along with people who already use your products so they’ll get using them or take specific actions through them.
6. Results are extremely easy to measure.
Page insights are made available to businesses that have established a specific level of presence on the social media platform. This allows you to be able to see how many people are liking your page, how many are seeing your page, and how many clicks and shares you are generating. By measuring this data on a daily or weekly basis, you can discover which content is working, what is not working, and what changes may need to be made to enhance the engagement process.
7. Any form of media can be used on Facebook for Business.
If you want to post infographics on your page, then you can do it. You can upload videos directly to Facebook or upload them to a site like YouTube and share the link on your page and the video will still play. SoundCloud is integrated into Facebook, allowing you to distribute podcasts, original music, or audio commentary about your field. Photographs and blog content links are very common and easy to promote. You can even post links to an email marketing subscription list. This makes Facebook for Business a versatile hub for the marketing work you’re doing right now.
8. Interactions from users have a snowball effect.
If someone likes your page, then Facebook places this fact on many of the newsfeeds of their family and friends. Some folks might even receive a notification that this has happened. Since 3 out of 4 people rely on personal recommendations from their family and friends when making decisions, this often leads to an increased level of traffic to your business page. Imagine what one person with 1,000 friends liking your page could do for you.
9. Ad targeting is ultra specific.
If you want to target everyone who has listed Seattle as their hometown, then you can do that. You can add in specific features as well, such as gender, hobbies, interests, or even the movies they like. You can even break it down by neighborhood if you wish. During the design process, you’re also given an estimation of the total reach of the advertising and it’s potential cost so you always have an idea of what your cost to conversion ratio could be.
10. It is incredibly easy to split test marketing campaigns to find what works the best.
You can quickly create different advertising campaigns with different text and images to see which tests better in your targeted demographic. You can also pick the amount of time that the advertising runs during the test and compare results. Short testing periods, however, may create incomplete data and not every business may be able to afford split testing.
11. You can decide to stop marketing through Facebook at any time.
There are no contracts in Facebook for Business that try to keep you locked into the platform like others make your business sign. If you don’t like the results that are being provided by this social media platform, then you can stop using it whenever you want. You can then begin using it again if you want. You’re never stuck paying for something that you’re not even using because it is ineffective due to contracted requirements.
Here Are the Cons of Facebook For Business
Controlling your online reputation is extremely important right now. Facebook is a personal website for many users where they connect with family and friends. If your brand has been included with those folks, then your actions, products, and/or services become a direct reflection of that person. Should they disagree with something you have to say, then there is a good chance you’ll receive a negative reaction within your marketing plan. If enough people can relate to that negative feedback, then it could damage your online reputation. Here are some of the other negative outcomes which must be considered before deciding that Facebook for Business is the best solution for your online marketing needs.
1. It is difficult to engage with Facebook users who don’t like or comment.
Facebook has created a requirement where people need to actually subscribe to page updates in order to keep receiving them if they don’t engage frequently with a page. Users can also choose to unfollow or unsubscribe from posts while still counting as page audience, which means even your promoted feeds will still be hidden on their newsfeed. This makes it difficult to know sometimes if you’re actually reaching your core customer base.
2. Advertising is based on bid mechanisms.
If you use Facebook for Business to engage in advertising, then it is true that clicks start at just $0.01 and impressions begin at $0.02. The only problem is that these advertisements can be outbid and therefore only run a few times at most over the course of a month. That keeps costs down, but it also means that few, if any, people will ever see the advertisement. It is here that the small business has a clear disadvantage.
3. There is a time requirement that must be fulfilled.
It takes time to run a Facebook for Business strategy. Daily monitoring is required to address negative comments or customer service concerns. Facebook is running 24/7, so it doesn’t take long sometimes for negative comments to build. You’ve also got your content marketing, customer engagement needs, and other social media duties to fulfill at the same time. To do it right, Facebook for Business is easily a full time job.
4. The amount of spam can be incredible.
Forget the trolls that come along and try to stir up trouble. If your online presence gets large enough and people believe you have some influence, then the spam links and posts that your content is going to receive will be incredible. Many other businesses will try to boost their own reputation with a piggyback ride on your own. Even if you put restrictions in place, all someone has to do is like your page to post a comment. This adds another level to the monitoring that is required to keep your online reputation where it needs to be.
5. Business groups are difficult to create on Facebook.
People on Facebook are typically concerned with their social lives or their home life more than they are their professional life. This means they don’t want to talk business online unless there are goods or services that can improve their social or home life in some way. If you’re a B2B professional, it can be very difficult to make Facebook for Business work for you.
6. You don’t have the control.
7. It is difficult to determine if a profile engaging with your business is real or fake.
Facebook has begun to crack down on user profiles that do not seem to be real. Some users have been locked out of their accounts until they can provide Facebook with evidence that their name is real. Even so, it is easy enough to create a fake name that sounds real to fool the automatic screens so that trolling or spamming can occur without consequence.
8. All of your posts are public posts.
Business pages aren’t given the same luxury that personal profile pages have in managing who can access their posts. All posts on a business page are public posts. Anyone who likes your page is also made visible to the public, which can expose people to the potential of identity theft if someone is diligent enough to follow a data trail. If not managed properly, this could potentially expose a business to the possibility of litigation.
9. Conversion rates can be quite discouraging.
Although some businesses have seen massive conversion rates with their Facebook for Business presence, the average conversion rate for advertising hovers right around the 1% mark. That’s 50% lower than other online advertising options which are available. This may mean the costs of promoting your specific brand may not be worth the value of the conversions that are being received.
10. Sometimes ads that seem like they are targeted actually go to the wrong demographic.
Facebook for Business, like any marketing strategy, isn’t 100% perfect. You could place an advertisement that is intended for users who live in Miami, FL and wind up having the advertising reach people who list Miami, OH as the place of their advanced education. This means that advertisement monitoring must happen on a daily basis to make sure the proper demographics are being reached… but if false data is put into a profile, there’s nothing that can be done to stop this.
11. It is difficult to determine what your tone is through your content.
The tone of voice on Facebook is difficult to manage. Even if something seems extremely clear to you, there’s a good chance that a small percentage of people are going to misinterpret what has been posted and take it personally and negatively. This means you must always be prepared to battle fires that get started. One simple status can create negative impressions with users that could destroy your business.
The pros and cons of Facebook for Business show that it can help to level the playing field for small businesses while helping large businesses expand into new demographics. They also show that this marketing process can be extremely time consuming and has the potential of negative consequences that may appear at any time. Evaluate all of these key points before creating your first campaign and you’ll be able to know if this time and potential monetary investment is worthwhile for your brand.