What Are The Dangers of Using Facebook to Grow Your Business?

Several years ago, if you wanted to grow your business, Facebook was the most popular method. And many people still feel today that using this Social Media Platform is practical.

This thought process is nativity glorified. When Facebook launched in 2004, my friend called and invited me to join her. After about a year I finally did it. It did not occur to me that I could grow a business using it.

Several years later after I closed my brick and mortar business, I helped other small business owners develop and grow their business on social media. And like most consultants, I recommended and used Facebook. My small business owners were successful, so I was successful.

Later when I retired from small business consulting, I decided to open my doors to on-line marketing. And it was enjoyable as well as educational. Like so many other people, I learned from failure. Marketing anything on-line is challenging because of the scams.

When I finally earned my master’s degree from the University of Hard Knocks using Internet for my business adventures, I found that I too could use Facebook to grow and expand my bank account.

Using Facebook Groups, and building relationships was easy. I opened four groups of my own. All was going very well. Although I was not completely happy with Facebook it was producing results. And I did buy Facebook advertising occasionally.

Several of my business associates cautioned about changes on the horizon. But I was successful and did not listen. That was my mistake.

The point here is this; do not trust this platform. They have a unique way of selling our personal information, and an even more unique way of tracking our posts. (Yes, even our business content).

The insidious fact checking is primary. Mostly because the fact checking is not fact checking, it is a way to silence and control our content.

Be careful if you are building your business on this platform. At any moment they can disable your account. And much of the time you are not told exactly the reason.

I lost all my personal groups, plus my thousands of followers and my account. If I had only listened to my associates before this happened, I would never used this platform.

My business was moral, legal, ethical and above-board. I lost my Facebook account because my content didn’t fit their narrative.

I have opened a new account. But never again will I trust a platform that controls my content; business or personal.

Anyone who suggests that you build your business with Facebook is naive. The marketplace and business environment is not what it was five or tens years ago. Today, it’s about control. Your business is your livelihood; it’s your hard work. Think about it before you move forward. Perhaps you may want to make changes.

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Selling on Social Media Without Driving People Away

5 Social Media Selling Tips & Warnings

Social media is one of the best marketing tools out there: you can grow and reach a large audience with content and ads, and people who like and/or follow you are your fans, so they’re already your target group.

However, people can be resistant to selling on these platforms. They see sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as places to share content and interact with friends, families-and nowadays, brands.

You really have to approach this the right way or you could alienate your audience, causing them to unfollow or unlike you because they expect a two-way conversation and engaging content, not to be marketed to.

It’s also important to clarify that social selling doesn’t mean advertising your product or service online for people to buy.

Social selling means you’re using social media to connect with sales prospects and nurture relationships to hopefully convert them into customers.

For example, I recently did a Tea Time Tip about things that you need to consider before you start building your website. People could comment and asking questions in real time, and the Facebook Live had a lot of information about hiring a professional web development company.

So, I wasn’t simply talking at people to hire us for their website-building needs; I was sharing pertinent information and nurturing those leads who might be looking for a company to help them out.

Now that we’ve defined social selling, let’s discuss what you can do to increase your odds of success:

1. Think relationships, not dollar signs.

Make sure you’re posting relevant, non-sales content. You want to become an expert resource in your industry, so focus on adding value to your users’ feeds.

According to a study performed by LinkedIn, buyers who are active on social media welcome input from industry experts. In addition, 76% of buyers are ready to have a conversation with potential providers.

Get to know your potential customers by asking them engaging questions, answering their questions in a timely manner and responding to comments. The more trust and loyalty you build, the better your odds of converting a follower into a paying customer.

Read: The Power of Social Media Storytelling

Once upon a time your strategy was probably largely focused on sharing links to third-party content with your audience. Well, those days are over, and if you want to stand out in the crowded and noisy online environment, you need to focus on content marketing storytelling.

2. Take the time to build out your accounts.

Make sure that your bio and profile are filled out on all the platforms you want to use for social selling. You should include your website URL, About Us, phone number and any other relevant contact info.

It can also help to pin relevant posts, make sure your branding stands out and have high-quality images to attract followers’ attention. Again, this builds trust and loyalty, making people feel more comfortable and secure doing business with you.

See how one of our clients, A Family Law Firm, has taken the time to not only fill out their contact info, but also the “Our Story” section on Facebook.

3. Choose your messaging wisely.

What works on one platform may not work on another. Where do your potential clients hang out? Where do they talk business, or go for restaurant recommendations? Generally:

* LinkedIn is more business-focused, so people are more comfortable with marketing messaging there.

* Twitter has a great search function, so you can more easily connect with prospects, and find relevant topics.

* Facebook has many communities that you can join and network in (remember, don’t be pushy!)

* Instagram and Pinterest is for visuals, not long content pieces.

By tailoring your messaging for each platform, you’ll be more likely to attract the right kind of customer.

4. Let user-generated content sell for you.

You don’t have to do all the work of social selling alone! There are so many ways to use user-generated content (UGC) to your advantage, including:

* Contests and giveaways that encourage followers to share your content, hashtags and/or messaging.

* Ratings or reviews for your product or service

* Testimonials

For example, J.Crew posts user ratings and reviews on their website, so when they post a dress or shirt on their social media account and someone clicks on through, they see other people’s votes of confidence.

Not only does user-generated content help you, but it helps your customers. Almost 80 percent of people say that UGC drives their purchasing decisions. It’s a win-win situation!

5. Try, test and try again.

Every business owner should be tracking and measuring their efforts, whether it’s a digital Newsletter push or a Google AdWords campaign. Look at your data and stats to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Maybe people are being referred to a page on your website from your Facebook post, but they’re only spending a few seconds on it.

You need to look at why that is: is your messaging unclear? Boring? Is there a broken link? By tracking your visitors’ paths, you can see where you need to take a closer look.

Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to measure your website statistics, and there are also paid tools out there that can help you break down and understand your data.

The more you test and tighten your social media selling attempts, the better your ROI will be (and the happier your followers will be).

While social selling is different than traditional methods, it’s still about building relationships and credibility. Focus on the person behind the platform, not on converting them into a sale or guiding them down a marketing funnel. Take the time to build connections and you’ll create a community of prospects who will welcome hearing from you.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.