TLDR: Facebook may have its faults but it is still one of the most powerful tools small business owners have at their disposal.
A lot of recent focus in the media has been on how the social networking giant Facebook is losing a lot of its luster, and several studies have found that 70 percent of all small business Facebook pages are inactive (haven’t been updated in the past 30 days). Despite Facebook’s many setbacks it is still a powerful and cost effective tool for any business and there are a few reasons to not give up on Facebook and actually start using it to help your business grow. First, Facebook is an unparalleled resource. Even if Facebook’s user base isn’t growing as fast as in the past that doesn’t mean businesses should abandon it. In fact, Facebook is still gaining roughly 250,000 new users every day so even if some users are giving up on the network there are still plenty coming in to take their place meaning you have to make sure your business is not just on Facebook but also active. This implies doing things to get people’s attention, i.e. inbound marketing. And if you can attract the attention of potential clients Facebook is one of the best arenas for online interaction because your conversations are visible to all other users meaning if you clear up some business discrepancy with one user then all others will see it so no similar misunderstandings propagate. Further, friends of those users your business interacts with could see that interaction pop up in their streams and based on the conversation wind up with an interest in your business that potentially leads to another new client or at the very least a warmer lead. Finally, Facebook offers a massive amount of marketing data by allowing you to see what your page’s friends like so you can better understand their various interests and potentially improve your products, services, and customer experiences to better suit their needs. Another great way of using Facebook is as a referral network and since most small businesses thrive on referral business, regardless of where it comes from, this arena simply can’t be overlooked. And consumers are so used to seeing advertisements (an estimated 400 per day) that they tend to automatically filter them out of their awareness which again makes referrals one of the main ways to gain business. Facebook is great here because similar to the reasons from the above bullet, everyone can see what everyone else is doing on Facebook. For an example, imagine a consumer that is in need of a plumber and then while on Facebook one day he notices one of his friends interacting with or Liking your small plumbing business’s Facebook page. That could be all it takes to get that consumer to end their search for a plumber and side with your business and that scenario could easily apply to almost any company in any industry.