Dont Be a Facebook-Hater, Just Do the Business Math
June 06, 2011
Posted in Ken's Blog
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People's feelings about Facebook ("FB") seem to run the gamut from "irrational hatred" to "unquestioning adulation." This may be true for just about any radically successful product to some degree, but I don't ever recall seeing a such a wide split in sentiment.
Everyone is, of course, entitled to their opinions. But I'm noticing more and more folks, in many forums and discussion groups, who are deciding not to use Facebook for business, due to personal reasons.
You know the old saying, "It's nothing personal, it's just business?"
Well, this sentiment sort of goes, "It's nothing business, it's just personal." ;-)
Let's explore this...
It's important to recognize that each of us has likely formed some personal opinions about Facebook... about its usefulness (or not), its privacy policies, its social benefits (or is it a waste of time?), etc. But we should not let personal feelings about Facebook muddy the waters of whether we should use it for business.
When my knowledge of Facebook was at the "theoretical level," (i.e., thinking about it, reading about it a lot, but not using it), I felt FB had no value to me at a personal level. I could see no use for it in my life.
When its Business Page option came out, that got my attention. "This," I thought, "could be something that will be of importance to SBI! owners." Naturally, in all things related to our businesses, the upside of doing something must be weighed against the downside (the time it's going to take).
We all spend a ton of time online, working on our businesses. So working on something new must be either worth 1) stealing away yet more of our "personal time" or 2) dropping some other business activity.
It's important, therefore, to make the right decision.
Facebook Has Both Personal and Business Uses
What's my personal take on Facebook?
When I want/have time to socialize, I'll do it offline, thank you. It's possible to "waste" huge amounts of time on Facebook for personal use.
Many of you feel the same (generally, um, older, like me ;-) ). Many don't.
If you do feel like me about non-business use of Facebook, this post is for you. Or...
If you "hate" Facebook for its privacy policies, for how they conduct business, for corporate morality issues, for whatever reason... this post is for you.
I read a stat the other day (if anyone saw it, please send in the URL) that said something to the effect that less than 10% of adult Americans (the 18 - 55 year old range) were not on FB.
In other words... your customers are on Facebook.
Love it or leave it for personal socializing. It makes no difference why you don't use it personally... irrelevance, privacy concerns, etc.
Regardless of how you feel personally, your business needs to be here. Start a Facebook Business Page and explore how it can help grow your business. Although you must have a "Personal Profile" to set up a Page, you do not have to give up any important personal information.
For SBIers: At a minimum, read the Facebook series of
articles in the TNT HQ...
SiteSell Facebook As an Example
As an example, here is why we started SiteSell Facebook...
1) SBI! is a unique and effective product. No other company or product in the world enables others to succeed at the rate and level that SBI! does. (If they did, they'd market it prominently. Marketers are not shy about promoting information like that.)
Remember... Social marketing is naked marketing. You are subject to the comments of your fans. So have a great product and treat everyone (customers and not) well. Deliver an excellent experience. If you can't do that, don't bother.
2) Our market is wide... "just about everyone." That is a hard market to reach. It is why we originally decided to focus on affiliate marketing and not SEO ("Search Engine Optimization") to drive traffic to SiteSell. 100,000 affiliates can reach "just about everyone." SEO would take massive amounts of work in comparison (SEO is best for niches).
3) People need an additional income stream. The odds are good that the random adult on Facebook has been thinking about starting some kind of business from home (a Neilsen survey a while back showed that 72% of households were actively considering it).
"Just about everyone" is on Facebook. And just about everyone is our potential client. We decided that we should be reaching out to them with a unique resource that showcases the world of SBI!.
So put aside any personal reservations and ask yourself a business question... "Why should my e-business have a Facebook presence?" Think it through, stripped of personal feelings. Once you do that, realize too that...
Not only can you grow your FB page by word-of-mouth, and via referrals from your site, Facebook ads are a cheap way to reach folks who don't know you. Instead of buying keywords (Google AdWords), you buy demographics. So if you have a site on turtles, focus your advertising on those who like turtles.
Note: Putting up a Facebook page has nothing to do with Face It!, a new SBI! module that goes into beta release shortly. (Yes, we're getting close to launching!)
With Face It!, folks can still like your site and individual pages, whether you have a Facebook account or not. You will be able to place your Like buttons anywhere you want on the page.
For example, you can invite folks to like your site in the upper left corner and invite them to like each page at the bottom.
Those likes, along with comments, will ultimately factor into Search Engine (SE) rankings for your site. (Bing has an edge here as they have a deal with Facebook for that data - FB and Google are not on the best of terms).
We'll show you how to optimize all this to get the best SE rankings possible, thanks to social media.
(Google launched its +1 button and Twitter launched its Follow button, both last week. Placement and optimal use of these buttons will be included in SBI!, too, likely within 2 weeks of the Face It! launch.)
The more people who click on these, the better for you vs. the competition when it comes to Search Engine rankings. Other platforms offer the Like button, but in a very limited way.
So don't worry if you don't "get" social media at all. The new module does it all for you.
Remember, this still boils down to merely one factor out of hundreds. And no one knows how important that factor is, nor how important it may become.
Keep your eye on the ball. You still have to get the whole C T P M process right.
The basics don't change. Now more than ever, your website is the core of your e-business. Social media feeds into your site, growing your
C T P engine, which increases the M of Monetization.
Keep your personal feelings about Facebook out of your e-business decisions. A Facebook Page is a cost-effective way to build your e-business.
And keep these two social elements separate in your head...
1) Facebook Business Page -- think of it as an interactive e-zine. It's another way to build a following, to PREsell.
2) Like, +1, and Follow buttons (and FB comments). The better your content, the more "votes" you get. The more votes, the better you do at the engines. (Face It! will help SBIers with this.)
You do not need an FB page to benefit from the value of button placements for your site and your pages. You'll have one more way to grow your traffic and to PREsell.
You can safely ignore the "personal" part of FB. Love it or leave it. :-)
But think more carefully, more objectively, about how you can get the most out of Facebook for your online business.
All the best,