Whether you're social or not, Facebook is an essential tool for any business. Facebook is the largest social media site in the world. It boost an impressive 1.3 billion daily users.
There are a lot of pros and cons to Facebook, just like there are to any social media site. Facebook is the longest and best known of the social media sites. Founded in 2004, the site has grown exponentially, becoming a household name. It's actually harder to find someone today who is not on Facebook than to find someone who is, and that is actually spanning ALL generations. My great-grandmother has a Facebook account now; it's how she keeps in touch with her grandchildren. That's great! That's what Facebook was designed for: to keep in touch with people you don't get to see very often (or see all the time, but then find new things they were interested in). That's what being social is all about: keeping in touch.
And this works wonders for your business, too. According to the American Marketing Association,“25% turned to social media for branded content and product information.” Yes, they're looking to buy things, but they're also looking to see what a company is all about. Do they volunteer? Do they adopt shelter pets? Where do they eat lunch? Basically, consumers are looking for reasons to trust a company.
Let's look at an example: say you're looking to buy a lamp. You're not looking for any lamp: you're looking for an awesome, eye-catching, conversation-starting lamp. You've done your homework and narrowed it down to two stores that have interesting looking lamps. One is on Facebook, and one isn't. The one that is one Facebook posts pictures of their lamps, but they also show pictures of their lamps in the real world. They show people reading by lamp light. They show kids playing in front of the lamps. They have customer testimonials and videos about their lamps. But it's not all about their lamps: this store also volunteers in the community—YOUR community—and has posted pictures showing what they do. They help build houses. They do cancer walks. By the time you're done looking at their Facebook page, you feel like you've gotten to know them a bit better. You even laughed at the cute kitten video they posted to cheer everybody up last Wednesday.
The other company—the one without a Facebook page—you only have their website to go off. It's hard to picture where their lamps would fit in, especially now that you've seen all the great ways the other company's lamps work.
That's what Facebook does: it gives a personal touch to your business and builds trust with your customers. Facebook doesn't have to be spammy, it doesn't have to be all about the sales, and you certainly don't have to post pictures of your lunches, but it does allow your customers to get to know you a little better, and that's the important part. Consumers who use social media to make a decision with business relate it to getting a recommendation from a friend, and we all know those are the best kind.
If you're worried about how time consuming social media can be, don't. This is where a social media manager really comes into play: they make sure your business shines on Facebook while giving you your time back, time that you can use for your business, for volunteering, or for something personal.