With its falling organic reach, using Facebook for business might seem like a dying proposition. However, there may still be benefits to engaging in this particular social channel. To learn more, we asked 10 founders from YEC why they weren’t yet ready to leave Facebook for business behind.
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. It's Great for Recruting
Facebook has not been an ideal channel for lead generation or thought leadership, but it does provide an excellent platform for spotlighting company culture. Demonstrating what makes AirPR unique is an invaluable recruiting tool as candidates seek to get a sense of a company's personality outside of the positions available. We get to be more playful and relaxed on Facebook.
2. It's the Largest Social Network
Facebook is still the biggest social network on the planet, with more than a billion active users each month. Why would you turn away from that? I wouldn't put all your eggs into the Facebook basket, but it's still a big resource where you can get validation from customers and become the expert.
3. It Offers Cost-Effective User Acquisition
Facebook's mobile install ads are a great resource for acquiring new users. It's as simple as setting up an image and a target demographic. You can pay cents per install for your app and quickly build a community of users.
4. It's Still Universal
Facebook remains the core underlying social utility of the world. Your customers are there -- on desktop, on mobile and now on Facebook's widening constellation of apps (like Instagram). It is the most powerful channel for engaging, interacting and communicating with your customers and for your customers to communicate with you. If your business isn't there, you're letting your customers down.
5. It's a Cheap Way to Create New Customers
For the cost of acquisition, Facebook is still one of the cheapest ways my companies create new customers. Plus, we interact with existing customers, so it's something that helps build a better relationship with them. The key is for your business to be social, provide good content (photos/blogs/information) and be yourself! Social media can enhance your business' personality. So pay a little because it still works!
6. It's Important for Customer Support
Facebook is important for business because it's where consumers engage and share. In particular, it's a critical touchpoint for customer support. Whether a company likes it or not, Facebook is a place where consumers go to post about their challenges or ideas for a brand. So it's still a best practice to always have a presence on the social network so that customer service issues can be addressed.
7. It's Considered a Utility
For many users, Facebook is like a phone -- everyone uses it and expects it to always be available. At this point, not having a Facebook account looks a lot like not having a phone. Some people may opt out, but we look at them a little oddly. For businesses, that means that we can't just opt out of the platform, even if it isn't a priority.
8. Facebook Helps Build Credibility
When potential clients are first looking up our company online, they are not just learning about our product, but also seeing our company's credibility. Facebook is a major platform for businesses and if we're not on there, it may send a signal to potential clients that we are not fluent in today's online tools. We view Facebook as an avenue to build our company's credibility.
9. It Drives a lot of Web Traffic
A recent study by Shareaholic showed that Facebook drove nearly a quarter of overall web traffic. Even though organic reach is decreasing, brands can capitalize on Facebook referrals by producing shareworthy content that users feel compelled to show their friends. There's no reason to shun Facebook. There is still plenty of opportunity within a platform that captures so many users.
10. It's Not Dead Yet
Despite its declining organic reach in the past year, your brand page is still a low-cost opportunity to engage with your existing community and reach out to new prospects. Paid retargeting has also been a very successful channel for us on Facebook.