Many companies are rushing to try and jump into social media because they feel tremendous pressure to prevent being left behind. Most of us have moved past the need to make a business case for social media and into the era of “needing” social media as part of our overall marketing mix. The statistics on social media adoption are astounding. A recent study found that over 90% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business. This is a drastic shift from where we were even just a short 2 years ago. In the same study, more than half of the respondents had less than 1 year of experience in social media.
It’s not surprising then that when faced with building a corporate social media presence, most are turning to Facebook as the answer. Facebook has become the strategy you “won’t get fired for.” I mean how could you? There are over 600 million users on Facebook so there is a good chance that your customers are there just waiting for you to engage them, right? I mean aren’t we all just walking and talking Facebook fans, right? Not necessarily. Here are 6 reasons a company should NOT create a Facebook Fan Page.
Reason #6 to NOT create a Facebook Fan Page – You don’t know WHY you need a fan page
You don’t want to create a fan page just to have one. If you haven’t defined a clear goal that you are trying to accomplish with your fan page, it is well…really unlikely you’ll reach it. Fan pages without purpose are like grave yards, there are a lot of pretty flowers to look at, but once you get there you realize this isn’t a place for enjoying your morning coffee. Ask yourself what you want your fan page to do for the company; help you retain your existing customers, help you capture new leads, or help you generate awareness for your brand?
Reason #5 to NOT create a Facebook Fan Page – You don’t know HOW you are going to use Facebook to advance the mission
Okay, so you know why you have a Facebook Fan Page, but you don’t have a strategy for how Facebook can be used to actually accomplish your goal. If you are trying to capture new leads, stop and look at Facebook and ask yourself this VERY important question, “If you wanted to buy my services and you were on our fan page, could you?” It’s clear a lot of companies that are on Facebook haven’t thought about this question. If a fan wants to buy, you want to make it SUPER easy for them.
Reason #4 to NOT create a Facebook Fan Page – You don’t know WHO you are reaching on Facebook
It isn’t effective to create a fan page and sit and wait for just anyone to show up and like your page. It is important that you know exactly who your target audience is and how you can attract them to your page. Your page needs to be relevant and interesting to your audience. If you think people will like your page because they “like” your brand, you will be sorely disappointed. Once you understand who your audience is you have to show a compelling reason for someone to want to engage with your brand. Ask yourself if your one-size fits all approach typically will actually end up being one-size fits “none”.
Reason #3 NOT to create a Facebook Fan Page – You don’t know WHAT value you will provide to your fans
Once you know who you are targeting you need to figure out what you will do to keep them engaged. A few clever status updates won’t cut it, if you want to inspire your audience to take action. Ask yourself, “if a fan likes our page, what’s in it for them?” Why would someone want to be a fan of your page? Facebook moves quickly and the best way to stay at the top of someone’s news feed is to have content that results in “likes” and comments. If your content doesn’t provide value…it won’t inspire people to click on the fancy hand with a protruding thumb.
Reason #2 NOT to create a Facebook Fan Page – You don’t know WHEN you audience is on Facebook
Managing a Facebook presence takes time and resources; therefore you want to help create efficiency so you or your team members can get their other jobs done too. The best way to do that is to maximize every post by understanding when your audience is engaging on Facebook and scheduling posts to hit during times that have shown they elicit high times of engagement. Dan Zarrella and the folks over at Kissmetrics did a study of the best times to post on Facebook called the Science of Social Timing. They determined that you should post on Saturdays at noon and that you should post no more than every other day. While this may be true for the average user, we know that your users are anything but average and that may or may not be a good time for them. Ask yourself “when is my audience most likely to use Facebook” and you’ll have some great times to test.
Reason #1 to NOT create a Facebook Fan Page – You don’t know WHERE your audience is
Have you stopped to ask yourself whether or not your audience is actually on Facebook? Okay with 500 million users, you are guessing they probably are. All right then, did you ask if they would even want to engage with you on Facebook? While Facebook has amassed a large pool of users, we are fools if we think that people are jumping onto Facebook just to engage with our brands. People are going to Facebook to keep in touch with their friends, their families and possibly even their co-workers. There are some audiences who spend a lot of time on Facebook engaging with brands, but they certainly aren’t the majority. So before you jump in and say you need to be on Facebook, as yourself, “is my audience on Facebook? And then, can I create a “natural” relationship with them there?” If you think there is a chance it will feel a little stalkerish for your audience…put down the keyboard.
You’ll notice a common theme here. This isn’t about YOUR BRAND, it’s about THEM. Therefore, it is critical that you understand your audience and their behaviors before you jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Creating a fan page comes with a responsibility to your fans and to your company. Don’t sell yourself or your fans short by jumping in blind folded.
Do you have other reasons that should be on this list? Do you have tips for brands that are trying to decide whether or not Facebook is a good fit for them? Please join the conversation and leave a comment.