A few months ago, I spoke with a friend who was fed up with Facebook. She spent way too much time on it, wasn’t quite sure how to bring her business into it, was tired of the constant “noise” in her newsfeed, and decided it was time to say goodbye. So with well over 500 friends in her list, she clicked the button and shut down her Facebook account.
A few weeks ago, I noticed she’s back on. With a few weeks away, she began wondering what everyone was doing, and started reading more information on building a business using Facebook Pages. So she headed back online and opened up her account. Now she’s at 200 friends, and is looking closely for guidance on how to use Facebook the right way this time.
She’s not alone. In fact I see people all the time that have a “Facebook breakdown” and make a quick decision to call it quits.
Would you do the same with your website?
Of course not. That’s your business.
Yet shutting down your Facebook account if you run a small business is pretty much doing just that.
Yes, Facebook is free. Yes, it has its own purposes. But it’s a tool you can use to attract and gain new clientele. If something like that has purpose, the last thing you should do is shut it down. Instead, take some time away no one will realize you’re gone – and restrategize. Discover the true reason you want to use it, and start in again. You won’t have to rebuild your profiles and pages, add friends and followers, and you’ll have a much easier time of moving forward.
Facebook is the Social Reach of the World
Facebook has only been around a few years. The world survived before Facebook, and I’m pretty sure it would survive if Facebook suddenly went away. Yet Facebook has become the window of opportunity to learn all about your friends and family. If your niece posts new pictures of her baby, where else are you going to see them? If your son shares his college experiences, don’t you want to know what he’s doing? (Okay, maybe not) And what about the bookclub, yoga class and travel meetings? How will you ever know what’s going on without Facebook? Because people are on it all the time, it’s a great place to meet new people, network with new people, and find new clients. If you are in business, can you really ignore one of the most active places on Earth?
Facebook Is A Mass Of Changes
Yep, every week it seems like Facebook releases something new. New privacy features, new Page options, new Timelines. There’s always something to love. And something to hate. But with each new thing released, we find a way to love it and use it. And if its really bad, chances are it will go away on its own. That’s the great thing about social media. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t control what makes it. His staff doesn’t control it. The only people that control what makes it on Facebook is you and me – when people talk online, the masses say what will be.
I’ve been teaching a Facebook class at my local community college for more than two years now. I laugh when I go back and look at what I originally taught. I remember telling people to develop Facebook groups – they were the way to reach out to your followers – and ignore Pages. Yep, that’s great advice today, considering Groups no longer exist how they were back then. But that’s the beauty of Facebook. It changes over time, becomes better, and offers you new ways of growing your business. In Colorado, they have a saying, “if you don’t like the weather, hang around for an hour and you’ll have something new”. The same applies with Facebook. If something doesn’t make sense or you don’t like a feature today, don’t use it. Continue growing in other ways, and chances are it will change. And if not, you may learn to love it if you discover a great way to use it.
Instant Sharing Means Instant Connection
Mobile technology is on the brink of becoming something huge. Yes, everyone uses their mobiles every day, and can’t seem to live without them. But we’ve only scratched the surface of what they can truly do. They are your phone, your communication tool, you window to the online world, your camera, your video, your wallet – and so much more. Who knows what they will be able to do a few months from now. And if you’re out and about, its easy to snap a photo and share it with your followers on Facebook. Promote a new product? Show it on the store shelves. Have a photograph on display at your local rec center? Share it. Teaching a class on using a camera? Share a 5 minute clip – which can also be a great way to promote your next class. You no longer have to sit down and come up with a way to market your business; you simply do it every day.
Referral Marketing At Its Finest
What’s the best way to build your business? Spend time working up a great referral strategy of course. Bringing your current clients in again and again, and having them refer their friends and family is a lot easier to do then to target someone brand new that has never heard of you before. In years past, it took time and money to stay in touch with your clients – postcards, letters, newsletters, packages, etc. It took a lot of time to plan out a campaign and put it together, and money to create a marketing tool and get it into the hands of your customers. Today its simply a matter of commenting on a status. If they get a new job, congratulate them. If their kids start a new school, wish them well. It can even allow you to personalize that much more – send them a gift basket when they announce they’ve just moved into a new home. Being in touch with them means being able to build a stronger, deeper relationship.