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What If No One Wants To Like You?

October 1st, 2013 by Arik Brooks

There are far too many articles written about all the great things social media can do for your business. There are not enough that explore whether or not social media is right for all companies. This article will do just that. Ask yourself a question, and be honest. If you were not in the business you are in, would you want to follow your company on Facebook and announce to your friends and family that you liked your company. OK, maybe it is hard to be objective with this question, so let me explain.

I see a lot of companies putting an effort into building their Facebook presence. They make the argument, that "it is free" and "that they need to be where their customers are." Compelling arguments yes, but that still does not fully answer whether or not it is logical to make this investment in time. After all, if you put a cost on your time or that of your employees, it's NOT really free is it? 

I know of certain companies that are retailers and manufacturers that have put a large effort into their Facebook page. They built the page because they could, but did not ask themselves if they should. They did not say to themselves, or were unable to objectively answer this: "If we put the effort into building this page, will enough people actually want to follow us on Facebook?"

What these companies sell is not exciting. They resell plain products that other companies create, or manufacture products that are necessary, but quite frankly, boring. If you sell lamps, no one wants to follow you! If you make widgets, no one cares. And, no one wants to tell the world that they like a company that makes widgets.

How do I know this? Well, first and most importantly, it's not logical to think that you will build a large following if you sell everyday types of products to a local or regional audience. Second, I can look at their accounts. After over 2 years of building and managing their page, they have just over 70 likes for one, and 200 or so for another. Many of these likes are from employees, competitors and vendors that sell services to them. Hardly worth the effort, I would say.

Now don't get me wrong, for some companies it makes total sense. We have helped companies build hugely successful programs, but I have also seen quite a few flops. Here is my incomplete list of companies that should and should NOT look into a Facebook program:

  Companies That SHOULD Consider Facebook

  • Large brands

  • Any company that sells fun activities or products

  • Funny brands

  • Local restaurants

  • Non-profits with a worthy cause

  • Companies that truly have a unique story, product, or service

  Companies That SHOULD NOT Consider Facebook

  • Manufacturers that sell B2B

  • Printers

  • Most local or regional retailers

  • Builders

  • Lawyers and accountants

  • Plumbers, HVAC contractors, electricians

  • Companies that cannot or choose not to monitor their account

  • And the list goes on. . .

At the end of the day, it is a simple question. Will other people not in your business find your company, product, or service interesting enough to want to tell all their friends? Be honest so that you don't waste time, money, and other more fruitful opportunities.


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