There are lots of pundits who are talking trash about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, wondering if anyone but MZ will benefit from the upcoming IPO.
Some are already predicting the demise of FB, or at the very least a shift in how FB will operate. Anyone who has any experience in business, whether that is local business or internet based, knows that in order to survive today, companies MUST be flexible and be willing to change. So why is this necessarily a bad thing?
Facebook is currently making more than $3 billion in revenue by taking market share from Google and Yahoo…they are doing something right. Maybe this is why the Yahoo pundits are some of the harshest Zuckerberg critics!
As long as USERS still flock to Facebook, “Like” business pages, and click on ads, it is good for business.
Local businesses can benefit even without paying for Facebook advertising as long as they participate in the social aspect of the medium.
If you, as a local business owner or manager, expect to build your Facebook page and then never touch it again and still have people find you–and find you interesting enough to share with others–than you have missed the point.
Your Facebook page should not be the equivalent of a Yellow Pages advertisement…you know, the thing that is getting thinner every year and is used more as a doorstop than anything else.
Like all social media, Facebook is first and foremost, SOCIAL…that means you must interact with people.
As Facebook is forced to focus more and more on making money for stockholders (we have seen this over and over) the users will likely find they are seeing more and more ads. Facebook already sells users information (and according to it’s own figures profits $4.50 per user on that info…doesn’t sound like a lot? Multiply $4.50 x the 850 MILLION active users!) With the IPO it is expected that more information will be sold, at a higher price. (want to read more about how FB makes money, read this article on money.cnn)
The trick for FB is to profit from the users without ticking them off so much that they leave, which would leave Facebook broke.
Local Business Marketing Tips For Usine Facebook:
Build your Facebook page if you haven’t already,
Be social–interact with people, talk about what is going on in your industry, your neighborhood, your business, and yes…even your life!
Let people get to know you and trust you. Then they will then want to do business with you.
Provide value…that can be your service, or just brightening someone’s day!
Ask people who come to your store if they’ve been to your FB page–and to “Like” it
Don’t focus on how many “Likes” you have, focus on what you can do for your customers
Facebook can, and (for most, but not all businesses) should be part of your internet advertising package that works for you. If you don’t know how to get started or you don’t know or want to participate in the day-to-day social aspects of it, then you can hire that out–just like you would hire out any other service you don’t have the skills or time for!