We’re all online, and most of us visit Facebook
We all have our favourite places online. Most of us probably spend too much time online (this view is prevalent among partners and family members). The internet has almost become the new ‘drug of the nation’ in a similar way to television.
Some businesspeople harbour negative views of Facebook that are either inaccurate, or out of date. They might think that it’s for teenage girls to share ‘duck faces’ or for some people to display a photo of every meal that they eat. The truth is, like many things in life, you get out what you put in.
Facebook is global, with 2.4 billion users. No matter what business you’re in, your customers are hanging out there.
Isn’t Facebook for Teenagers?
Teenagers are often early adopters of new technology. Older people tend to ‘catch on’ later. Facebook didn’t get created for kids, and most adults visit Facebook home page. The numbers of elderly Facebook users continue to rise.
Take a look at this article from the Pew Research Center. The statistics for the last few years are a real eye-opener:
- 71% of online American adults use Facebook.
- 56% of internet users ages 65 and older now use Facebook, up from 45% who did so in late 2013 and 35% who did so in late 2012.
- 58% say they are connected to work colleagues.
- 39% say they connect to people they’ve never met in person.
These statistics are surprising since only 23% of the adult population use Twitter. 58% of adult internet users connect to their work colleagues. That shows that Facebook is wholly established among late adopters, and is a medium that crosses work boundaries.
Not every country will have demographics like the US. But with 1.3 billion users worldwide, (Update: In 2019 it’s now 2.4 billion), to ignore Facebook could mean that you’re missing out on plenty of eyeballs from potential customers.
To avoid our Facebook pages turning into teen sites, I must pre-warn everyone. Please resist the temptation to follow Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. As long as we connect with industry-related companies and people, we should be fine.
Please take a look at NASA’s Facebook page that has 1.3 million ‘likes.’
They ‘ve somehow managed to avoid teen hysteria despite many boys and girls wanting to be astronauts!
Whether you’re selling lemonade or racing boat engines, you set up your stall where your customers are likely to be hanging out. That might be at the edge of a fairground, or a high profile trade show. Fortunately, whatever business you’re in, you can be sure that many of your potential customers are on Facebook.
We’ve discussed why your business should be using Facebook. Before you do, decide whether you want to separate your Facebook business profile with Facebook private page. This separation is a personal choice, and there’s no right and wrong. It’ll be more effort to maintain two sets of social media profiles. The decision will depend on the nature of the business that you’re in, and the types of updates you post privately.
But don’t write Facebook off. Give it a try; you can always reduce the amount of time you spend on it if you fail to get traction. If you’re looking for ways to expand your business, Facebook might be the best solution.