Having a Facebook page has become a standard requirement for any business.

Social media is becoming something that small business is told is an absolute necessity to promote their business. But how much does a Facebook page really do for the business? Many of the likes of most small businesses are people they know; they invite their friends and family to like the page and that’s about it. Most of those people already know that you have the business, and aren’t likely to become customers.

When you do post, you find that your reach is pitifully small. Why? Because you can boost a post, that’s why, which of course you have to pay for.

You can  advertise on Facebook as well, but is it even effective?

The thing about Facebook is what is it for? It’s for.. well not much really. Seinfeld was renowned as a show about nothing, and Facebook, which truly is a phenomenon, is a site about nothing. You can be a voyeur and see how amazing your friends’ lives are. You can be an exhibitionist and show everyone else what an amazing life you have. You can also play games and chat with friends. Now, there is also news.

To sum up, people check it out for their down time. A little bit of entertainment.

The thing is, in order to increase sales, you need to connect with buyers. Are people buying on Facebook? Probably not.

A recent survey of 1,000 UK businesses said that 62 per cent of businesses say that Facebook activity has no discernible impact on their brand awareness or sales.

I personally think that this is the shape of things to come. If you are working hard to grow your business, you tend to try stuff and if you see it not working you discard it quickly.

But…are there any advantages Facebook advertising has over other platforms? Yes. The main one is cost. Facebook is the cheapest way to get 1,000 people to see your ad. The cost is 25 cents per 1,000 people reach. This is compared to $8 per 1,000 people for radio and $20 per 1,000 for magazines. For more, check out this article on Moz – why every business should spend a dollar a day on Facebook advertising (By the way, that has changed. The minimum daily spend is now $5 a day).

And of course, opinions on the Internet are like you know what; everyone has one. Some people on the Internet are claiming that the Facebook ROI is stellar. I personally prefer to believe those in the trenches.. i.e. actual small business, than someone who is writing on the Internet with an agenda.

My opinion is that you need to measure carefully the returns you get on any marketing. Facebook is no different from any other way to market your business. The platform allows you to see how many people are engaged by posts, or by adverts, and how many clicks you get to your site as a result. Try it and if your business gets results, well obviously you continue with what’s working. If it’s clear it isn’t, discontinue it.

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A computer specialist who has had a long and varied career in IT, starting with the days of Novell, progressing through Microsoft on the way to Cisco and network security. Now running Revolution Web Design, to provide customers with great Web Design, SEO and digital strategy advice.

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