In the Trenches: Rethinking Our Facebook Strategy

Last December, I wrote about the value of our presence on Facebook saying “if people wanted to find my business on Facebook then I would be stupid not to be there.” Now I’m rethinking that strategy.

I don’t have any issues with actually having a presence on Facebook. I mean, it makes sense to be there for those who want to find us that way. But the real question is: How much time and effort do I want to be putting into it?

When I first set up our page, I created a welcome screen with some basic info. If people search for us on Facebook, we’re there. There, they can find whatever links they need to sign up with our service. So should I be doing any more than that?

Certainly a Facebook page with updates, including wall posts, is going to get more notice. All of the people who “Like” our business will receive constant reminders that we’re out there. It keeps us top of mind. But is there much value in that?

We already reach existing customers via email newsletters and tweets, and those people make up the bulk of our followers. Other than that, it’s mostly friends of mine who were nice enough to Like the page. They’ll use us anyway. But how many new customers are finding us through Facebook? Very few, if any.

When we sign up a new customer, we always ask how people find us, and nobody has ever said Facebook. Plenty of people have found us on Yelp, interestingly, but none on Facebook. So is it worth specifically trying to update the page proactively or should I just set up a more evergreen page and let that be our marker for those who want to find us? I’m certainly leaning toward the latter, though I always hesitate since conventional wisdom seems to be that Facebook is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

What’s your experience?

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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16 comments
Becca Niederkrom
Becca Niederkrom

@Grace Bacon - I agree with you but its also nice if new customers have a poor experience and they speak up about it . . the company can engage in conversation to listen and convert again. @ConvoCounts

Brett Snyder
Brett Snyder

@Matthew McDermott Certainly there's a lot of opportunity for mobile, and I'd rather spend my time trying to build something in that space that could reach my existing customers. I'm sure there is some value to Facebook, but as a small business, I have to really pick and choose where I focus. So far, the value of Facebook is proving to be enough to justify me spending much time on it. (Maybe that'll change as we grow.)@doug That's true - I put some of the stories on the website and then talk about some on the blog that started it all (The Cranky Flier). But I could put more on Facebook. Will people really read that much detail on Facebook? It always seems like people are looking for bite-size bits or at most, links to more in-depth things.

doug
doug

For the business you run, it's entirely possible thay Facebook fans could be interested in some of the challenges and success stories. An anecdote about getting someone where they needed to go? Or maybe teasers that go to a page on your site of such stories?

Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy

I get the Cranky Flier email newsletter. I am on Facebook and could not find The Cranky Flier. In a somewhat parallel case I get my soccer teams daily update via Facebook and also by going to their Website. I also si=ubscribe to several email newslatter that I also see feeds from on Facebook. The Cranky Flier is a very interesting "aviation news" service oriented to passengers. As a retiree, I would not expect to ever need the services of the Cranky Concierge but very much enjoy the Cranky Flier.

Lisa Kerr
Lisa Kerr

My personal experience with Facebook business pages (brands that I love) is that they make conversations about a brand or product or experience possible with others that share the same interest! That can be powerful.

Gordon Lutz
Gordon Lutz

I was on facebook until my account was compromised by hackers. facebook security seems to be lacking in many areas. I deactivated my account and frankly don't miss it.

GregP
GregP

If you have a continuing stream of things to say that merit comment, and people will be inclined to discuss, then FB can be useful. Example: Weber, regularly posting recipes.

Matthew McDermott
Matthew McDermott

There's different levels of value for different types of businesses and I would say that you need to play to Facebook's strengths. Where I've seen it be effective is for certain local businesses or groups that have events that can be promoted to a local audience. I've also seen national product retailers use it to distribute coupons or run contests of one sort or another that build their core business and audience. The other value is in developing some sort of feedback loop that takes advantage of the viral effect of friends sharing with friends (hey, Bill did you see this? it's kind of interesting, blah, blah, blah). For Cranky Concierge, you're attempting to work with travelers - can you design something that's built around 'checking in' at different airports using the location feature in smartphones? Most checkins at different airports in the month of June = a free [fill in the blank]. Just thinking out loud.... You can also cross promote other platforms like Youtube videos to build viewership/readership.

laurad
laurad

It seems to work well for soft and fuzzy businesses. However, very few people go looking for a CPA on Facebook.

Grace Bacon
Grace Bacon

I think of Facebook as a means to keep in contact with existing clients rather than attracting new clients.

Laura
Laura

The value of Facebook posting is getting folks to comment, like, and share your posts. If you can do that, then you can reach new customers.

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