Today Facebook made business headlines in a way that Facebook would rather not just two days before it goes public. Headlines read that GM was giving a thumb’s down to Facebook advertising because in their experience the ads did not pay off. Of course, since GM is such a mammoth company, this will likely raise eyebrows among businesses of all sizes. But should it?
Social media marketing has many uses and depending the size and goals of the business, it can be used to achieve a variety of goals. Lead generation and sales is only one of these goals, and yes, probably the most expected since we are all living in the information age where everything’s a click away.
But to decide that what doesn’t work for GM will not work for you is short-sighted. Without getting all theory-ish on you, I will sum it up by reminding you that Facebook is a marketing channel that focuses on connections, networks, and personality. People aren’t there to be advertised to. They are there to connect with others and share ideas and information. It’s a soft cell opportunity. It’s a place relate to your customers. It’s an opportunity to remind people that others like and have great things to say about your product or service. This one-on-one attention is great for small businesses that have those stories to share and the community to connect with.
Sure, the number of fans that a small business Facebook page has will be much less than a corporate biggie like GM, but odds are as a small business owner you have a better relationship with your fan-base. In market-ease its called having “engaged users”. Simply put, it shows that you are getting through to your audience and folks are interested. Big businesses that just blare out traditional splashy ads though soft sell marketing channels aren’t connecting with anyone.
I have plenty of thoughts on the power of Facebook which you will hear soon, but for now I caution small businesses to remember that sometimes the small business marketer can pull off an advertising campaign much better than the big guys. Being bigger is not necessarily mean being wiser.