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We Are Web We specialize in web, local, social and mobile marketing. We provide online marketing for all businesses, large and small.

Facebook Is a Revolutionary Business Tool, but It Isn't Magical Marketing Pixie Dust

what-is-seoWith nearly 10 billion users, Facebook is easily the most well known social network in the world. If Facebook were a country with a seat at the U.N., it would have the third largest population, behind China and India. And like China and India, Facebook (should we call it Facebookistan?) has some distinctive customs and norms, and you need to understand and respect them to be able to make the most of the site’s potential as a tool for promoting and expanding your small business. When I see local businesses faceplant on Facebook, it’s often because they don’t invest the time to learn Facebookistan’s customs. 

You’re a visitor in Facebookistan. Behave yourself!

What makes Facebook different from other social networks? It’s the fact that users have strong ties with one another. They are connected with their best friends, their family members, their in-laws and their long-lost friends from grade school. They share intimate parts of their lives. Stuff like:

  • Birthday celebrations
  • High school graduation footage
  • Baby photos
  • Wedding announcements
  • Anniversaries

What does this mean for small businesses (like yours) using Facebook as a marketing platform? It’s means you should be low-key and conscientious in your approach. You can’t apply the old forms of top-down, bullhorn-style marketing on Facebook, because people aren’t there to hear your hard sales pitch. They’re there to connect with friends and family. Respect that, and you’ll be respected and accepted.

Don’t be that annoying tourist

If you are trying to port the old style of marketing into Facebook, you'll be disappointed. The natives will get angry and shun you. “With Facebook, marketers of any size can do effective, word-of-mouth marketing at scale for the very first time,” says Annie Ta, a Facebook spokeswoman. “But Facebook is about authenticity, so if your small business is not being authentic or engaging with customers in a way that feels genuine, the community will see right through it.”

If you’re doing it right, it’s hard

Don’t be fooled by social media “gurus” who make wild promises about effortless Facebook success. Social media is about creating relationships and influence—and this requires time. Many organizations think that if they set up a page on Facebook, that’s all they need to do. Marketing on Facebook is definitely an amazingly effective way to reach local customers (we wouldn’t be talking about it if it weren’t). But here’s the rub: it’s also difficult (and rewarding) if you’re doing it correctly. The payback is well worth the investment in time and attention. According to a study from Social Media Examiner, nearly two-thirds of small businesses engaged in social media point out that Facebook has enhanced their overall marketing effectiveness, and 80 percent report forming new partnerships after just two years of participation.