Maybe your business should quit Facebook

Original jSinger Digital Marketing Tips & Commentary

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Remember when Facebook first got popular, and every business scrambled to make their own Facebook page?

The results of this early Facebook push are pretty pathetic. If I check on 10 local businesses, I typically find only 50-60% have a page, and only 10-20% keep up with it.

Why is that?

For sure it’s because keeping up on Facebook takes time and energy, something many businesses don’t value enough to allot part-time or full-time hours to.

But I’m convinced another reason is even bigger. The results aren’t there. Or aren’t known.

In many cases, businesses try to do the social media work themselves instead of using a professional. They often talk only about themselves, promote heavily, don’t socialize, and don’t get a following. And they quit.

In other cases, a business might do a good job with their social media presence, but don’t know how to measure the ROI. So they quit.

As a response, jSinger Marketing manages social media for clients, so that we can take care of keeping up with what’s going on. We know what new social networks are popping up, and which social networks reach which audiences.

But despite our business interest in social media, it may surprise you that we often do not recommend using social media.

We ask a simple question: is your product or service something that people talk about voluntarily in everyday life? That is, is it social by nature?

If you are a school, a park district, a fitness center for a Little League team, the answer is yes. People love talking about you, and you should be on social media. You should dedicate someone to your social networks. You should use it as part of your marketing plan. And you will succeed.

But if you are a contractor refinishing bathrooms, putting roofs on buildings, or selling machinery parts, you should not be on social media. It is without a doubt a waste of time. No one will follow you, no one will converse with you, no one will comment on your posts. If you are in this boat, we encourage you to get out as soon as possible. You probably jumped on the Facebook bandwagon years ago and have taken marketing advice that was too generic for you. We’ve had clients who see hear about “the latest technology” at a conference or on the radio and think it’s for them. But they’re really listening to companies trying to sell them something. Or it’s what works for Coca-Cola, but does not necessarily work for their business.

It’s kind of like seeing a car commercial, watching a hot sports car roll through mountainous roads at high speeds. It may seem attractive, and it may work for some West Coast Silicon Valley executive. But you live in Chicago with stoplights every 20 feet and snow on the road. Salt is all over the new car’s body, and your family that doesn’t fit in this car. The idea and advertising of the car are not wrong, there simply not for you. In the same way, we believe social media is a poor choice for more than half of the businesses we talk to.

So, think about your business and audience before starting or continuing your social media campaigns. Are you a fit? If not, consider other marketing avenues. If you are convinced you can go against the grain, just be prepared to work extra hard and be patient. There are exceptions who can make it, but you’ll have an uphill battle.