Should I Promote My Business With Facebook?
One of our pet peeves at Bizeeo Marketing is the overblown importance of Facebook, or “Social Media Marketing” in general, being touted by many marketing “experts.”
It has become a meme that often goes unchallenged.
Image Credit: geralt via Pixabay »
However, the role Facebook plays in the promotion of your local business depends on many factors.
At Bizeeo, we offer social media marketing services, but NEVER as a standalone service and ONLY when it is beneficial for our clients.
Social Media promotion has its place. But before you dive in, there are some important considerations to take into account. (Sorry Facebook lovers, we’re going to pick on you a little. 🙂 )
Facebook can be effective for many industries. Examples include:
- Hospitality and restaurant
- Personal services like massage therapy, or hair removal
- Event-driven services
Even then, it’s more effective at fostering customer loyalty and retention1, NOT for generating new customer leads! That’s an important distinction.
“FaceBook Works for Me!”
Before you start screaming at us, please understand we’re NOT saying you should avoid Facebook altogether.
We’re not Facebook haters.
But we do suggest you keep the following points in mind before you take the plunge:
- Facebook promotion simply will not work for every business. When was the last time YOU searched Facebook for a local plumber when your upstairs water heater burst and was flowing freely all over your downstairs furniture? (see video above ↑)
- For Facebook to be effective, it typically requires a large investment of your time, energy, and resources.
- Sometimes you’ll need to pay a fee in order to boost the visibility of your Facebook ad.
Facebook Ownership Issues
It’s also important to consider the following questions:
Do I own my Facebook account?
Not really. Facebook is a free service. They can remove or delete your account at any time for any number of reasons. 2
Heck, they could go out of business one day. 😯
Do I own the content I post on Facebook?
Generally speaking, yes. But there’s a catch.
Under U.S. Copyright Law, the content (words, images, video, etc.) you post on Facebook are considered your Intellectual Property (unless you infringed on someone else’s copyright).
However, here’s what Facebook states in their “Terms you agree to when you use Facebook”3:
“… you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”
FindLaw, a provider of marketing solutions for law firms and online legal information and services for lawyers summed it up nicely in their article titled “Who Legally Owns Your Facebook Posts?”: 4
“In layman’s terms, Facebook has license to use the photos and videos you post (which you own) in any way it sees fit, without paying you, and it can transfer that license to third parties.”
Why Did We Bring It Up?
If you’re okay with the ownership issues, then there’s no problem! Right?
But be sure to ask yourself two very important questions:
- If I’m going to put all my eggs in one basket, why concentrate all my efforts and resources towards a platform over which I have so little control?
- What if there are other, more affordable and effective, methods to promote my business?
Regarding question #1, the solution is fairly obvious. You need your own website.
As for the second question, you should always consider the “low-hanging fruit,” an idiom Phil Rozek borrowed to describe marketing strategies that are readily available and easily obtained.
In his article titled “Low-Hanging Fruit on Google+Local Pages” he provides an excellent example. Here’s the link » (Note: The article is a bit dated because Google has renamed and revamped their products, but you’ll get the point.)
For updated information regarding Google’s free business listings, click here ».
Facebook Came to Montgomery
To help put this discussion in context, I’ll share our observations at a recent event we attended.
It was a local FaceBook event at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa in Montgomery, Alabama.
The name of the event was Boost Your Business With Facebook!
It was hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
We were curious to see what would be presented.
There were several things we liked about the event:
- It was an excellent “offline” networking opportunity.
- There were several informative “how to” demos, like targeting Facebook ads and integrating Instagram (also owned by Facebook).
- The Facebook staff presented many “case studies.” (see “The Bad”)
There were a few glaring omissions:
- The Facebook staff presented many “case studies” with little or no supporting evidence.
- We were surprised there was no Q & A session.
- One was left with the impression that Facebook is the be-all and end-all when it comes to marketing your business.
We don’t really mean “ugly.”
It’s just sad to see so many missed opportunities.
At the end of the formal presentation, three local business owners were brought on stage to discuss their experiences with Facebook (and Facebook ads).
None of them went overboard singing the praises of Facebook, but it was apparent they were “all in” and excited about the possibilities of “growing their business.” Not once was there any mention of other online marketing strategies.
To be fair, we don’t expect most business owners to know all this stuff and we believe they’re doing the best they know how.
Unpicked “Low-hanging Fruit”
During their discussion, I performed a few quick Google searches.
First I searched for their business names.
One of the three did not have a website or a Google My Business listing.
Then I searched for the services they offered.
Of the two businesses that did have a GMB listing, neither of them ranked in the map results (and there is very little competition for their services.)
Their GMB listing was neither verified nor optimized. Also, there are Google categories that are perfect matches for their primary business service, but they were not defined as such.
For example, one of the businesses offered rental equipment for parties and outdoor sporting events. Their primary GMB category was “Event Venue,” (which they are not) when there is a near-perfect-match category named “Party Equipment Rental Service,” not to mention “Tent Rental Service,” Sports Equipment Rental Service,” or “Equipment Rental Agency.”
Send People TO Your Website, Not Away!
Furthermore, when I did locate their GMB listing and clicked through to their website I was greeted with a very large, clickable graphic that linked you away from their website and over to their Facebook page!
What a mistake!
Your website is typically the ONLY web property over which you have full ownership and control. When someone arrives on your site, the last thing you want to do is send them elsewhere!
Should I contact them and offer to help?
I’m all about Inbound Marketing, not cold calling.
So what’s next?
I think I’ll go to my Facebook page and post an excerpt from this article, then link back to MY website (this blog article). 😉
So what do you think? Do I have Facebook all wrong?
Let me know!
- Learn more about “customer retention” on Wikipedia – website link » ↩
- Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities – website link » ↩
- Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities – website link » ↩
- Source: FindLaw. Who Legally Owns Your Facebook Posts? – website link » ↩