I recently launched my business and I’m working on building social media profiles. I don’t have a lot of time and I’m worried that having many profiles will spread me too thin. I sell mostly to business professionals. Does my brand need to be on Facebook?

–Facebook Is Necessary?

Let me preface this with the following: I’m a product of the Facebook generation. I got a profile back when you had to have a college email to join. Social media helped shape my college experience, and therefore has had no small influence on my career. I love Facebook.

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That said, FIN, you DO NOT have to have your brand on Facebook.

Some brands need Facebook. Some brands will do wonderfully on Facebook. But some brands have no business even attempting to be on Facebook because it’s simply going to be a waste of time and money.

How do you know which of these your brand is? Should your brand be on Facebook?

Ask yourself the following:

  1. Am I selling to a Facebooking demographic? If you are trying to reach anyone under 30, women up to around 50 (Facebook is full of moms), college-educated folks around 18-30+, or social media addicts (this is a real demographic if you’re marketing games or apps), you need to be on Facebook. If you are targeting an over-40 demographic, especially males, Facebook might not be the place for you. FIN is targeting business professionals…FIN, are you on LinkedIn?
  2. Do I have the time needed to create and maintain a presence? Having a poorly maintained social media profile can actually damage your online reputation, especially if you are trying to cultivate a very professional appearance. It can be better to not have a Facebook profile than to have a bad Facebook profile.
  3. Following on #2: Are there other channels that will suffer if I put time into Facebook? In the case of FIN, time might be better spent on LinkedIn, or even Twitter (which can itself be time consuming in the extreme!). If FIN can’t keep up with all the profiles, he should focus on those that are the best options for him.

So for FIN, I’d probably recommend Facebook only if he has the time/bandwidth to maintain it. If he wants to ensure he’s ON Facebook but doesn’t have time for it, he can create a profile, lock it down to prevent people from making a mess of it with comments, and let it sit until he has time (or interns), but he should put in at least the time required to build a search-friendly, professional Page and make sure it’s set up to email him important updates so he doesn’t ignore potential business. Otherwise, though, FIN is probably better off putting time into LinkedIn and possibly Twitter and/or Google+, depending on the specifics of his business.

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