Is a Facebook Fan Page Right for My Business?

October 10th, 2011 by | Print

More small and medium-sized business owners are asking my SmallBizMedia.tv partner, Maria, and I, if a Facebook fan page is right for their business. It’s a good question. With so many SEO and SEM consultants touting the benefits of a Facebook fan page as part of their services (we do the same), there is a certain sense of necessity mixed with healthy skepticism. Nobody wants to pay money to simply be part of a fad. And when it comes to marketing, we need to find ways to make you stand out from the crowd, not blend in to it.

Here are some important questions to review to help you determine if a Facebook fan page is right for your business.

Who are your ideal customers?
You can’t market effectively if you don’t have a clear definition of whom you are trying to connect with. Stop and let that last sentence sink in. This is where many small and medium-sized businesses go off course. They hear what’s hot in Internet marketing and they rush out to be the best at it. But why?

Facebook is a great place to connect and converse with customers if you are a B2C business. This is where people hang out, chat with friends, talk about where they are spending time, how their day is going, share media, and make buying decisions for personal consumption. If you’re a retail location, a restaurant, a massage therapist, or the like, having a Facebook fan page makes sense. You can connect with people letting them know about specials, coupons, deals, that they will share with their community of friends.

If you’re a B2B business, depending on your focus, Facebook makes less sense. For example, if you’re a freelance consultant helping manufacturing facilities streamline their operations, having a Facebook fan page isn’t likely going to benefit your business. In some B2B cases, like a coach or consultant helping other coaches and consultants with growing their business online can establish a strong connection with a group of ideal customers.

Where do your ideal customers hang out when they’re thinking about products and service similar to yours?
Word of mouth is still the strongest form of marketing. And Facebook is very strong at making it easy to generate a substantial virtual word of mouth. People trust endorsements by others they know or recommendations from prominent people within a particular market segment. You see a “like” from your friend Diane about a product or service she recently used, you’re more likely to pay attention and check out the business, too.

However, using the example above of the freelance consultant helping manufacturing facilities, when was the last time you were on Facebook and saw someone post a message saying how much they loved how their business consultant streamlined their business and how much money it saved them? This isn’t why the over 800 million active Facebook users are going there. There are Facebook groups where people in a B2B business model can connect, but the activity and ROI here are typically low. LinkedIn is a much better service for engaging your ideal B2B customers.

Another way you can tell if a Facebook fan page makes sense for your business is to see if your competitors have a page, what are they doing with them, and do they appear to have any success with it. You can do a search on Google and you can go on Facebook and do a search in their search bar at the top.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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