Why local business is failing at Facebook

I read an interesting article today on why businesses are failing on Facebook. Basically it seems that while most businesses know that they should be on Facebook, they don’t really understand why – or how. The research, by social media company Recommend.ly, studied 1.7 million Facebook pages and found that 82% have fewer than five updates every month – with pages run by local businesses having the fewest. The study also found that 94% of local businesses don’t engage in conversations started on their page, and 91% of conversations are completely ignored by the page owner.

To be honest I can’t say I’m all that surprised. It’s not that difficult to get started on Facebook – but it can be difficult to carry on the efforts, especially if you don’t regularly publish fresh content on a blog. After all, what are you going to talk about? There’s only so much you can say about your business before it gets boring. But if you blog, you have lots of new material to talk about …

The secret to both blogging AND social media, in my mind, is joining it all up. You write exciting stuff, you share it on your social media accounts. People read your tweets or Facebook updates and visit the blog to read your articles. If they like what you have to say, they click the Share link and share it with their friends … who visit your website. And so the wave goes on.

It all sounds so simple, but it involves two things – the ability to write, and the time to write. And that’s where so many local businesses are going wrong. They get started in social media, full of enthusiasm …but then they become busy running their own business, they don’t have the time to keep up the blogging and updates and it all grinds to a halt – which is probably more damaging than if they hadn’t started it all in the first place.

So what’s the solution? Perhaps the answer is to outsource your social media – everything from building a blog and writing articles to tweeting and engaging with followers. It’s not ideal, but if you work closely with the person you outsource it to, and let them into the “inner circle” of your business so they fully understand your products, services and overall philosophy, they can become your online persona.

If you find you don’t really have the time to fully engage with social media, but you’d like to benefit from the huge audience it can bring you, give make a call on 01367 888229 and let’s see if I could help you out.

(Special thanks to David Burn at Marketing and Research Projects for alerting me to the research!)

3 comments to Why local business is failing at Facebook

  • denise

    Hi Alison, Yes you are totally correct. So many people want to do social media without really knowing how to do it. Businesses concentrate on the SM Tools more than the content, which they are/should be producing. A lot of businesses are unaware of their customers or their needs or even really know where they are within social media. All in all they then give up and say it isn’t working for them because they also think that it should bring instant results, when in fact it takes a period of time to nurture the relationships.

    To outsource you have to be sure that the person is also able to deliver. That’s why Concise Training have joined with Dawson Loane for the ITQ City & Guilds Social Media qualification, which I am currently doing and I myself is offering social media management services.

    Will be interesting to hear responses from businesses to your blog.

    Many Thanks
    Denise

    • The biggest problem though is companies who outsource their social media but then don’t let the outsourced manager get close to the company. It’s almost impossible to engage as the company when you don’t have that inside knowledge on their philosophy.

  • denise

    Absolutely, both have to work in unison with one other and the social media manager is the company’s ‘voice’. The social media manager needs to know the company’s social media strategy and the company’s aims and values. But if the company understands SM then they would know the importance, but unfortunately many don’t.

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