Every once in a while, a person does something that makes them feel really old and out of touch. Even if you’re fairly young, you can say something that makes someone younger add a few years to their mental estimate of how old you are. Like asking a question that a young person wouldn’t ask.
I recently had one of those Rip van Winkle experiences.
“Are you on Facebook?”
The short answer to this question is, of course, yes. 1 out of every 7 people on the planet are on Facebook (there are 1.59 billion monthly active users on Facebook and a global population of just over 7.1 billion). Of those 7.1 billion people, about 3.2 billion of them are online (according to a report from the International Telecommunication Union), which means that roughly half of the people who are connected to the Internet use Facebook at least once a month. 81% of American adults who use the Internet are also on Facebook.
I was met with a bewildered look. They were obviously trying to figure out whether I was making a joke or if I thought that Facebook was some new and trendy thing that more than 80% the American population might not yet be hip to. I could have asked, “Can you point me to the nearest payphone?” or “Whatever happened to video stores?”.
It’s not that everyone you meet will be on Facebook. In fact, some people actively refuse to sign up for a Facebook account (something about wanting privacy or something like that). It’s just that it’s far more likely that someone is on Facebook than is not on Facebook, which is why it is so important for your business to be on Facebook — even if you aren’t.
We have some clients who are not on Facebook. We don’t pry into their reasons for this surprising choice. We accept them for who they are.
But just because you choose not to take part, you can’t refuse to have a Facebook page for your company or organization. Why not?
- The chances are overwhelming that your customers are on Facebook. See the numbers above if you are skeptical. Two thirds of Americans in the 54-65 age range are now on Facebook, and you can’t be sure about octagenarians any more. Your customers will be there and they may be looking for you.
- You may have a Facebook page and not even know it. Facebook pages will appear without your knowledge or consent, and they will look pretty lame. Add a few negative reviews and you have a seriously unfortunate effect for your business.
But it’s true that for many businesses — including ours — Facebook is not a strong source of business. People go to Facebook to play. If your goods and services aren’t playful, you’re not going to get a lot of attention at Facebook. And Facebook is no longer in the business of letting businesses reach customers for free. So even if you have a playful product, you’ll have to pay to get much traction. Facebook ads can be very effective, and very cost-effective, for the right company, but the dream of free connections with customers on social media is pretty much over.
So balance your resources with your results. Set up a good-looking page at Facebook that reflects your company’s culture and stature. Hire a reasonably-priced social media service. Set your blog up to post regularly on Facebook. And leave it at that.
Yes, you should be on Facebook, but your investment should be determined by your overall digital marketing strategy. We’d love to talk with you about your strategy and how Facebook fits into it. Call 479.966.9761 or email Rosie to get started.