Of all the big shiny objects I complain about about, Facebook might be the worst. Facebook
may appear like it's everywhere, with businesses constantly asking consumers to
"like" their page or "check in." With the constanting
urging, Facebook may continue to grow. But, is it a good outlet for small
business marketing? No, because as quickly as Facebook has exploded, people are
turning away. Why? It isn't reaching the ideal demographic anymore.
If you can remember over ten years ago, you may remember Facebook's initial
launch – a forum for college professors to post outlines, notes and address
students' questions. In fact, Facebook users had to have a valid college email
address to register as a user on the site. Now Facebook is available for anyone
and boy has everyone flocked.
Social media seems like the perfect outlet for small business marketing, but it
seems like everyone got the same advice. With the surplus of business pages
came the obvious change – the loss of consumers. The more Facebook is riddled
with advertisements and suggested pages, the more consumers log out, permanently. I've heard and read many complaints.
One other problem with using social media for small business marketing? The
demographic of people who use social media. Unless your target audience is
angst-ridden preteens, chances are you aren't reaching your ideal consumer.
Studies show generally people with little income, or education, are the
majority of people on Facebook. Reason being? Generally people on the site are
people with a lot of time to kill. Do YOU have too much time to kill? (Or maybe you're not being VICIOUSLY PRODUCTIVE.)
Another common trait of frequent Facebook users – depression. Facebook is a
time-waster, not usually a magnet for the goal-oriented achievers of the world.
They spend time investing in other people's lives, perhaps lacking something in
their own. Also, something depressed people do a lot – complain. Do you want a
bunch of people bored and depressed given an open forum to discuss their
problems with your business with your loyal customers?
Facebook may not enter into the abyss that holds MySpace, but as we have seen
time and time again, trends come and trends go. So, tread lately into this fad
and, at the very least, be careful about the time you invest into such shiny objects.