News travels in real time, thanks to social media. If someone sees a breaking news event, a picture is posted within seconds and the world knows it within a minute. In this era of faster is better, impatience often gets the best of us. We want news, we want results, we want something better…now.
I recall reading an article shortly after the launch of Google+ which interviewed a ‘social media expert’ who had already deleted his Facebook account because he knew Google+ was the future of social media. He wanted better...now. I wonder how that move worked out for him?
More recently, Copyblogger wrote about deleting its Facebook page because it wasn't working for them. The post went on to list all the things wrong with Facebook. They weren't getting the likes or engagements they wanted. It took too much time for such little return and so on.
They defended their position with statistics, comparisons and even a video about Facebook Fraud. Oh, the horrors. But seriously, deleting their page and losing 38,000 likes? That’s crazy.
When a company, especially one birthed by the internet chose to walk away from part of it, I had to comment. As I see it, they made a big mistake. A move that will ultimately cost them clients.
Why? Because they didn't recognize Facebook as a form of marketing. They didn't see the long term benefit to them or their clients. They simply wanted better...now.
When I'm hunting around the website of someone I'm thinking of spending my money with, I like to see what the company is up to. Social media posts give me that information. The posts provide insight to the company. The posts tell me what they’re doing and often can reveal their business culture. They sometimes talk about their clients and how they solved a problem for them. I can learn a lot about a company in just a few minutes by clicking through their website, blog and social media pages.
But here’s the kicker and I'm not alone in this tactic: I seldom like, follow or subscribe to the companies I'm searching. I'm just 'window shopping’ to see if they look like a good fit. For me, social media is an extension of marketing – but much more informative and personal.
I can't imagine how many opportunities to influence potential clients Copyblogger misses every day.
Think of the 38,000 people that did like them. Imagine hearing, basically, 'you aren't important since you don't answer our surveys or 'like' our funny photos, so go away.' Ouch.
While Facebook and the other social media networks aren't perfect, they can - if you choose - provide insight to your company. You can write blog posts, link to videos and demos, post photos and share news for your clients to read. What if one little item you write about captures someone's attention and you land them as a new client? Your largest client. (Trust me on this - it happened to me.)
Don't get me wrong, Facebook - or any social media platform - should not be your primary way of reaching your audience, however, smart use of social media enhances your online presence and can gain clients for your business.
Your best marketing is likely your website, which provides you complete control of the content and user experience (SEO is another topic entirely), though it's static. Social media offers a chance to interact.
Sorry, but I just can’t understand why any business would kill its Facebook page. If I'm scanning your site and see you don’t have a Facebook page, I feel you're out of touch, antiquated and don't care about informing and engaging with your audience.
It's easy to fall prey to the belief that our online audience prioritize things exactly as we do. I argue there are just as many who see it differently. You should ensure you're appealing to them as well.
My advice? Stay the course, make corrections and recalculate your bearings when necessary, but don't abandon the ship. It most certainly shouldn't be about demanding your clients engage with you.
In today's competitive marketplace, I’m not about to delete any of my small online audience, let alone 38,000 of them.
- Mike Forrester