Facebook is a fantastic marketing tool. You can reach wide audiences, or find potential customers in your niche and connect with them in a whole new way. You can use Facebook to communicate your brand message, make announcements and connections. There are many success stories of businesses that started out just by marketing on Facebook.
But Facebook is not suitable for every business. There are certain types of business that will really struggle to gain any ROI using Facebook and some that could even damage their brand by using it. This is an issue that is not normally discussed, but when some companies ask if they should be using Facebook, the answer is no.
Facebook works best as a B2C platform. Businesses can find groups of potential customers by segmenting them demographically and through interests and hobbies. Although Facebook can be used by a lot of B2B companies, many niche B2B companies struggle to make it work for them. There are 2 main reasons why:
To build an audience on Facebook people have to ‘like’ your page and many niche B2B companies aren’t particularly likeable. This is not an insult. You could run an exceedingly successful and profitable company without it being likeable. You could be in an area of science or engineering that is crucial to the very fabric of our society, but it may not be likeable. Before you decide to use Facebook spend some time thinking about whether or not people will actually like you.
Your company may have thousands of customers and deal with tens of thousands of individuals who all have Facebook accounts throughout the working day. But, it could be the case that every single one of these people would get the sack if they were caught on Facebook between 9 and 5. Consider whether your demographic is using Facebook when they are thinking about your company. If you can’t use Facebook to connect with the right people at the right time then it is not for you.
Another main reason to avoid Facebook for B2B and B2C is if you are in an industry that will attract negative comments. For as brilliant as Facebook is for getting real-time feedback and for opening up communications with your customers, these very features can be a nightmare for some companies. It may not be that your company attracts complaints, it could be that you are providing a product or service for a group of people that attract criticism. Before you open yourself up to free comment via Facebook, consider what kinds of comments you are likely to receive.
Facebook is not for everyone. It is a fantastic tool if used correctly, but some companies may find that pouring resources into Facebook will never pay off.