Facebook is a Fad

What does Spock see when he looks into the scanner?  Why Facebook of course!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs2l38DoqsQ&feature=player_embedded#at=49[/youtube]

Is your business ready for the end of Facebook’s “fad of the moment” status?

If the thought of the fall of Facebook makes you nervous- if Facebook is acting as your sole web presence – it’s time for a reality check.

At best, Facebook should be one of many TOOLS in your social media marketing toolbox.  It should never be the ONLY way for consumers to find your business online.

If you think Facebook is forever -I’d like to remind you of a very popular social media site of  yesteryear – MySpace.

When Newscorp purchased MySpace back in 2005 – the site was at the height of its popularity.  Of course, the first order of business was to cash in – and cash in they did.  Unfortunately – the changes made to improve short term profits were made without regard to the site’s users.   As the user experience began to deteriorate at MySpace, Facebook opened it’s virtual doors to the general public and consumers fled-driving MySpace into obscurity.

User experience killed MySpace – and a similar fate awaits Facebook as well if they continue to ignore the “will” of consumers.

The biggest mistake any business owner can make is to build their business on the “free” internet real estate offered by Facebook.

Facebook’s greatest appeal has always been the fact that it’s free and it’s growth has been very “viral”.  One person recruits their friends and family to sign up… and those friends recruit their friends – and before you know it – over a half a billion people have created Facebook profiles.

It’s natural that business would want to have a presence on this popular site.  However, it’s important to remember that your business doesn’t own in any way, shape or form its Facebook page.  Heck, you’re not even paying to RENT to Facebook for this online real estate – which means your options are VERY limited should you find yourself in unknowing violation of Facebook’s ever changing TOS.

There have been more than a few internet pioneers who have discovered first hand that it SUCKS to build your internet marketing empire on internet real estate you do not own.

While Facebook is indeed a “fad” – social media is not.

Social media is more than just the sum of it’s parts.  Social media is bigger than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube and the myriad of other mega social media sites combined.

The smart business owner will place his or her own “horse” in the social media race and maintain a business blog.  Then social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Linked In can be leveraged to help bring readers (a.k.a. consumers) to the business owner’s blog. That same smart business owner will be watching the newest players on the social media scene to see if the businesses’ target customers are beginning to congregate at a new social media gathering place… like say Foursquare.

When you create and maintain a business blog – where prospective customers can find out more about the products and services you provide – you might discover that your business blog is the most profitable piece of your own marketing puzzle.

That’s better than a page full of “likes” any day!

Comments

  1. says

    I almost had to be pulled kicking and screaming to facebook. I had an aversion to it at first and still maintain a sense of that and, generally, partake of it in self-regulated doses. I think talk of it’s demise is very much premature. While I don’t have a business, I am a member of a group which operates a niche fan page with nearly 3000 followers — a number that, so far, is steadily climbing.

  2. stefan says

    Interesting read. But this is like saying that Google is a fad. Indeed, I agree with the author that social media networking is here to stay. And she’s also right by saying that one must diversify his or her SMN strategy when it comes to business…. But any business expert will tell you the exact same thing. And this is not because they think FB is doomed but rather that they are aware of the synergy between Website, FB, Twitter and Youtube (or any kind of blog).

    Word of caution: be aware of the generational gap. Teenagers numbering in the hundreds of millions understand and use facebook everyday. These people don’t email… they FB. Period. Which means that FB will only increase in popularity in near and not so near future. The phenomenon which has become FB will only grow with these young people and it will entrench itself into their lifestyle. FB is cornering social media networking like Google cornered the search engine market.

    In the mid 90s I started to build websites. As I was trying to get new clients, I called the editor in chief (who was in his mid 50s at the time) of a well known magazine in Canada and suggeted a website for his business would be a great idea. His answer to my proposal was: “the internet is a fad”… Poor him. He only viewed the situation based on his yearns and wants as well as being completely unaware of the craze created by the web amongst generationxers.

  3. Kathy says

    Stefan,

    I love the term “synergy”… it’s perfect. It really communicates an essential “truth” about SMN – if you make a connection – it’s essential to provide various paths users can take to find MORE information.

    I’m definitely not saying Facebook is “doomed” … but the future of Facebook lies in the hands of their company’s leadership and that is ESSENTIAL for anyone using Facebook to grow their business to recognize. All it takes are a few decisions which favor profits over the user experience – and Facebook will find itself in the same position that MySpace is currently in. If that happens and Facebook is a PART of your social media marketing strategy – then the fall of Facebook won’t be a potential business killer.

    Thanks for adding to the conversation!!

  4. sarah says

    I don’t think Facebook is just a fad- if anything it’s popularity seems to be growing especially amongst businesses.

  5. Kathy says

    It’s true – a lot of business owners are jumping on the Facebook fad. Even huge corporations are leveraging the popular site for their marketing communications.

    Keep in mind, this blog is directed at small business owners – some of whom are relying solely upon Facebook to provide a web presence for their business – and this is a warning to them.

    There’s nothing wrong with leveraging Facebook’s current popularity for your business. However, it’s positively reckless to allow Facebook, LinkedIn or any other free site to act as your company’s sole internet presence.