To my absolute horror, there are still bloggers, uselessly blogging about how irrelevant social media is and specifically pinpointing Facebook. I'm certain that they are just blogging to attention seek. I can forgive a fool that thought this a few of years ago, but I would definitly expect business owners to have the knowledge and understanding of their market and the evolution of business/ strategy.
While I feel some other social platforms can be imperative to a businesses success, I will focus today on Facebook only, as according to alexa.com it's the most used social network. Not too long ago, many businesses refused to get a website and thought they they could survive doing what they did in the olden days. They got left behind! Many of those businesses either closed down or suffered until they were forced to get on-line to survive. Here are just two short reasons (out of many) why you need a business fanpage:
Soon, the facebook generation will be your only audience left. If you don't find a way to stay connected to them, someone else will. Facebook allows you to target and promote your business to your specific market in a way that your website can't. It already knows the interests, hobbies, age range and gender or most of it's users. You can use this to your advantage to specifically and cost-effectively promote to the right people. Just looking at your friends, colleagues and family, you know most of them have facbeook and check it daily but, they won't be on your website daily! Facebook will allow you to keep them updated on your business more frequently, keep your business in their minds and lead them to your site. Meet your potential clients in their comfort zone and place of addiction (facebook). Websites and blogs are great and necessary but before the client gets to them, you need to capture their short attention span and give them a reason to care about your business while they are killing time on facebook, communicating with friends and trying to make the work day end faster.
Google and the others
While I agree certain businesses/ industries such as fashion, music and large brands, benefit from and invite more audience interaction than certain businesses, the SEO value that is build from social networking is great and necessary for all businesses. By producing and distributing content across social media, you will be able to build a good relationship with search engines as well as your (potential) clients. Having the buttons clearly linked on your site and making frequent and consistent updates improves a sites organic search presence and is becoming a more important criteria for ranking. This, I will say is the most important reason to be on facebook and the best answer to those who are skeptical.
I predict that in the not too distant future, businesses that resist using social media will be left behind just like those who thought they could survive without a websites or on-line listings.