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Is there a role for Facebook for the small business? Or would it get too messy?

(16 Posts)
KatyMac Fri 10-Jun-11 21:37:48

I don't really 'do' facebook; but it has been suggested that it would benefit my business to have one.

I am a bit of a novice so wsa wondering would it have a benefit; could it be abused by people?

Would it have a use?

MagicFest Fri 10-Jun-11 23:14:40

Just got into FB myself as a result of lots of school friends reuniting after aeons and now I've got my head around the security stuff am having lots of fun, confident that only the people I choose can see the comments and pictures. I'm consequently coming across a lot of businesses using it everything from local (cake making, jewellery, coaching, restaurants, baby massage ...) to national/international brands

You can spread your net much wider and to a base of people you might otherwise not have reached and if you look around people are actually engaging in conversations a bit like here. Plus, you can do as much or as little as you like

Business friends have been saying how it's not 'if' you take up social networking but when, i.e. like the internet 10 years ago, it's here to stay.

and there are loads of social networking sites out there 'e-cademy', 'linked-in', 'twitter'.....
good luck!

KatyMac Sat 11-Jun-11 10:41:48

There is the potential for disaster I think

But then I am a wuss

IslaValargeone Sat 11-Jun-11 10:49:32

A disgruntled ex employee might use it to bad mouth your business? I realise they could do this via face book anyway, but actually on the business facebook page it could be potentially quite detrimental I would imagine.

KatyMac Sat 11-Jun-11 10:55:00

Not too many of those (thankfully)

But customers/clients maybe?

IslaValargeone Sat 11-Jun-11 11:02:18

That too. Sometimes you can move heaven and earth for your customers but now and again you get a right trouble making knobber!

KatyMac Sat 11-Jun-11 11:22:17

I guess it's a balance

Watersign76 Sun 12-Jun-11 11:13:09

Hi

I think there is definately a role for Facebook for small businesses, especially those that have a consumer product. 500 million people are on there...it is worth thinking about! My views below for what they are worth.

I personally think the key is setting up a Facebook page (used to be known as a fan page) for your business, and ensuring you keep it up-to-date with interesting content and find ways to encourage people to "Like" it.

Ideally interesting content means a mix of info about your business and interesting/helpful articles that your audience who "like" your page want to see. Try mixing it up with articles and also video.

I don't know what your business is, but as an eg I am helping a client with her beauty business, she uses her Facebook page to; promote offers that she is running, promote competitons (which are a good way of increasing visability on FB), share links about latest beauty treatments, styles and beauty press articles (not all of which feature the type of services she offers), links to the company that provides her products and then a peppering of more "personal comments" about running her business, eg "Just spray tanned a bride for her big day on Saturday, she told me about her dress, it sounds amazing".

I do think it is worth/important having a business page to output your business info, as even if you are happy to use your personal page to talk about your business, most people use their own pages/accounts for personal stuff, so might not like/be used to one of their "friends" doing that...

You can also control the content, so if somebody does post something unpleasant you can remove.

The best place to start, which it sounds like you are doing, is to set your self us as a user, and "like" other businesses pages (especially those in the same industry as yours) and see what they do.

Good luck!
WS

KatyMac Sun 12-Jun-11 11:40:07

That's interesting; I will think about it

CrystalTits Sun 12-Jun-11 12:45:58

I help several small businesses get started on FB. I'd recommend not removing any negative posts, but instead using them as your opportunity to reply with your POV to redress the balance. You don't often get that opportunity to show your excellent customer service otherwise! FB can be good for your business if you're publishing content that people will find useful, and taking time to engage in conversations (as others have said here). Good luck with it!

Watersign76 Sun 12-Jun-11 14:39:02

CrystalTtis I agree. I was thinking more along the lines of "Your mum has a p##is" that young/fake Facebookers might be inclined to post.

Bad reviews are definitely an opportunity. And companies that have deleted comments have got into trouble etc Nestle.

KatyMac Sun 12-Jun-11 20:08:05

Hmm so I set it up with all the privacy set to absolute secure; then get a few people to read what I have before I let it loose (or do I keep it fairly private?)

Is it a special type of facebook account, a 'fan page' did someone say?

mranchovy Sun 12-Jun-11 21:36:06

www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

ggirl Sun 12-Jun-11 21:39:42

CrystalTits -where are you based and how much do you charge for the service?
Dh poss customer

geraldinetheluckygoat Sun 12-Jun-11 21:41:11

All of my business came through FB for the last two years...Im starting to branch out and word is getting round by word of mouth now too, but it works really well for me. I do cakes which are very visual though, and it works well to put the finished cake up so that the customer sees it then comments, then their friends see it and so on. However, for childminding you would have to be careful in terms of which kids had permission to be pictured and so on.

piprabbit Sun 12-Jun-11 21:46:12

I've created a page for a local charity. They had concerns about the page being abused, so I was asked to prevent non-admins from being able to post.

So far it is working well, but slow going and quite a lot of work keeping the page up-to-date and interesting. I've recently opened up a couple of discussion pages and asked for people to enter photos to a competition - so I'm gradually becoming more interactive.

BTW, I have set up an extra page, which I have never published (ie. I am the only person who can see it). It is really useful for trying things out on, before making changes to your main page.

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