Reasons not to create a Facebook page for business

Are you looking for ways to promote your business online?

Are you thinking about creating a Facebook business page? Or maybe even think that you must have one?

After all, Facebook is the biggest social network in the entire world with more than 1.31 billion active users, so it’s obvious that your business should also be on Facebook, right?

WRONG.

On the contrary, there’s a number of very specific reasons why your business should NOT be on Facebook. In this article I’ll discuss why starting a Facebook page might be a wrong decision for you, so that you can avoid wasting a lot of time, effort and money.

1. You don’t have a community:

The easiest question you should start with: “Do we already have an active offline community?

What do I mean by that?

Facebook is a social network. People come here to keep in touch with their friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances. They want to feel part of a community.

But to forge a community completely from scratch is insanely difficult. It will require a lot of effort, time and money – things most business are not willing to invest.

But to forge a community completely from scratch is insanely difficult. It will require a lot of effort, time and money – things most business are not willing to invest.

So before even starting with Facebook marketing, you must evaluate if you already have a community that you can unite online.

If you don’t have such a community of loyal clients and active brand ambassadors yet, invest into creating and strengthening it offline first.

A great example of a company with an active offline community – Chipotle. As they already have a ton of loyal customers, it will be much easier to engage those fans on Facebook too:

Do not create a Facebook business page without an active offline community

An example of companies that will (most probably) will not have any type of community – industrial manufacturing companies (at least I haven’t heard about….

If the answer to the question is “No”, you will have much less chances to achieve results with Facebook marketing.

2. Your company doesn’t have a human side:

Although this is very tied to the first part, it deserves a separate mention.

Communities consist of people (duh!). The most active communities are those that focus not on the product itself, but on people – emphasising their contribution and achievements.

Which is exactly why your Facebook page communication should revolve about thempeople – too.

Introduce your team members, showcase clients’ testimonials, share fan photos, answer to their questions and comments – turn your page fans, not your product, into the heroes of the story!

And although it’s easier for B2C companies, which already have large pool of clients or customers, it can also be used by B2B companies, in order to build trust with their audience.

A few great examples: Mailerlite:

Mailerlite's Facebook page communication strategy - making it personal

Mailerlite know’s that organic Facebook communication won’t bring a ton of sales. So instead, they’re using it to engage they’re current clients and make a stronger personal connection with them. #SocialMediaDoneRight

And Sprout Social:

Sprout Social's Facebook page communication strategy - making it personal

Sprinkling a pinch of magical dusts of personalization into their Facebook communication. 

3. You don’t have human capital:

“…we’ve just got an intern, so we’ll probably just let him manage our communication…”

It’s completely understandable that not all companies will have someone responsible for marketing, especially online.

The problem comes when this responsibility is thrown at anyone at a company: from interns and receptionists, to assistants, sales or human resources managers, who don’t have any experience in the area.

It’s even worse, when CEO’s start managing it by themselves. 

You don’t agree? Really? Will you, company director, argue that there’s no better way to spend your time than managing a Facebook page?

Is there really nothing more important, such as developing your company’s strategy, managing your team, looking for new partners or investments, that will help your company grow? I doubt it. 🙂

Not only is it wasting your precious time, it’s also dangerous: a lack of knowledge and skills can lead to truly appalling situations when page owners start attacking and insulting people:

Facebook marketing fail - Amy's Baking Company insulting fans

Please, please, pleaseDON’T do this…

4. You don’t allocate an advertising budget:

“…but Facebook’s free, why do I need to pay?”

NO, Facebook is not free.

It never was free. And the fact, that you can create a Facebook page without opening your wallet is just a tiny part of the story.

In order to achieve any results, you will need to consistently put effort and time into managing your business page. Day after day, week after week.

And it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or someone else in the company, who will manage the communication, spend time thinking about the content to share, prepare and publish the posts, come back to respond to comments, analyse the page analytics and the results, etc…

TIME is MONEY.

High quality content costs money; time, spent learning about the best case practices of Facebook marketing, too. So no matter how you look at it, by choosing Facebook, you spend both time and money.

High quality content costs money; time, spent learning about the best case practices of Facebook marketing, too. So no matter how you look at it, by choosing Facebook, you spend both time and money.

What’s more, even if you have an loyal offline community, you’ll have to run “Page Likes” campaigns to reach and attract them to your page.

For promoting your products or services, you’ll need to run Facebook ads to your target audiences.

For high quality content on your page, you’ll need to buy photos or hire photographers.

So if you’re not planning or can’t allocate any budget for your Facebook ads campaigns, don’t even bother with it – it will be extremely, extremely difficult to get any value from it.

Why Facebook business pages are not free: it costs money, time and effort

5. You don’t have any useful content:

“…yeah, so we got some jokes and memes to publish on our page, that’ll be enough…”

Going back to the contextwhy do people spend time on Facebook?

First, to maintain their relationships with other people, interact with others, chat with friends, announce about their own activities and achievements.

Second, a majority of people spend time on the social network looking for useful, valuable information. For some that’s lessons about internet marketing, for others – news about Google’s stock prices, for others more – funny videos about cats.

But all of us, Facebook users, are united by a simple thing – a search of personal gain and the psychological satisfaction we get after finding it.

But all of us, Facebook users, are united by a simple thing – a search of personal gain and the psychological satisfaction we get after finding it.

And what can you offer that’s valuable to your audience?

Does your company write articles, answering the deepest desires and biggest worries of your clients?

Do you announce the biggest upcoming events? Or share breaking news?

Or maybe you show practical examples how your fans can cook an ultimate meal for themselves or collect a two meters tall bookshelf?

Even better, do you tell compelling stories that draw people closer to their screens?

Example Facebook Page Post from the Humans of New York

If you don’t have any interesting, useful or unique content, you will not have anything to offer to your audience.

And if you don’t have any treats, don’t be surprised if the guests don’t come at all.

6. Your products/services are completely on-demand:

“We need to sell more tractors, let’s do some of that Facebook ads stuff, ey?”

Here’s a question for you – what triggers the majority of your sales?

A) a rare problem that needs an urgent solution, or
B) a frequent problem that needs a consistent solution?

Example of A – legal services. You can communicate for months on your Facebook page, but if your fans don’t have even a single issue that requires legal assistance, your communication will be worthless.

If you’re selling roof covering services – same. If you’re providing house insurance – too. Even if you get an influx of fans from somewhere (something NOT to be obsessed with), you will still hit a brick wall – no-one will care, because they don’t have a problem that’s relevant to your services, so the solutions are worthless.

Example of B – coffee. Coffee lovers drink their espresso shots every day and they don’t have any plans to stop! Which is why you can beautifully fill in their news feed with interesting, coffee-related content: latte art, coffee-making videos, articles about unique coffee beans, their history and road to a coffee shop, and much more – there are plenty of choices.

And even if you decide to advertise, the same rules still apply.

It will be extremely difficult to advertise goods or services that are bought just once in five years – you will have to choose wide target audiences on Facebook, hoping that a tiny percentage of everyone reached will buy it.

On the contrary, it will be much easier to advertise fast-moving goods that are used frequently,

Examples of Shopify Facebook ads on desktop news feed and sidebar

I’ve been seeing Shopify’s ads for a couple of years now but I still haven’t signed up… because I don’t have a need for it. And when I do, I’ll most probably google “best ecommerce platforms” first.

If your company fits “A” example more, you should focus on optimising your website’s content for search engines (SEO) and using search engine marketing (SEM – Google Adwords, Bing/Yahoo Ads) to promote your products – people search for things when they already have a problem or an intention,  so your ads will be much more effective there than on Facebook.

7. You don’t have a clearly defined strategy:

Finally, it all comes down to strategy.

If you don’t have a strategy, you won’t know why, how and what you should be doing, and even more importantly – if you’re achieving your business goals.

Which is why before you even start creating your Facebook page, obsess with the page design or invest into getting more fans, answer at least these three questions:

  1. What is our target audienceand no, “18-65 men and women” is NOT a target audience, 
  2. What are our monthly goalsincrease sales by X units? Decrease the number of returns? Solve 20% of total customer inquiries? Attract 10,000 website visitors and generate 100 new leads? – write that down!
  3. What are the best means to achieve itis it really Facebook? If so, is it communicating on your page or doing paid advertising? If not, what other channels should be used?

These questions alone should put you on the right path.

Don't create a Facebook page without having a marketing strategy

Like Alice, if you don’t care where you want to get, it doesn’t matter which way you go.

Conclusions:

You’ve just learned seven reasons why creating a Facebook page may not be the best idea for your business.

So before you start worrying about how to create a page, upload cover photos, share first posts and get more fans, STOP for a second and answer to yourself:

  1. Do we have an active offline community that we can unite online?
  2. Do we have a “human side” to our company that we can present?
  3. Do we have the human capital that are competent to manage the communication?
  4. Can we allocate an advertising budget and other resources for effective communication?
  5. Do we have any valuable content we can share?
  6. Do we promote products that are used frequently or very rarely?
  7. Do we have a clear strategy, defined in numbers?

If most o the answers are “Yes”, congratulationsyou deserve to be on Facebook! (Of course, it doesn’t mean it will be easy, but at least you’re on the right path).

And if you mostly answered “No”, I highly recommend you to keep yourself away from Facebook and allocate the same resources to other activities in your company.

Or, completely ignore this entire article and do what you want… just don’t say that I didn’t warn you 🙂

Which will you choose?

P.S. this article first appeared on SocialMedia.lt – written by me in Lithuanian 🙂