My daughter and I had our pictures made by my friend Kari Salo of Kari Salo Photography a few weeks back. This was the first time Kari had done our pictures, and not only did she do an amazing job, but we became friends along the way. Because I’m someone who spends a lot of time on the web, one of the first things I did was try to go friend her on Facebook and like her Facebook page. She’s running a small business and I try to “Like” everyone I meet because the more “Likes” your page has, the better it is for you when prospective customers come visit your page.
But, Kari doesn’t have a Facebook page. I emailed her and told her I’d be happy to help her set one up as a a kind of “Pay it Forward” thing, it only takes a few minutes to set up a Facebook page. She emailed me back, thanked me, and then asked why she needed one? She has a website which showcases her pictures, why does she need Facebook? And, why does she need a Facebook page if she’s a local company?
Why does she need Facebook? That’s a darn good question.
Kari is a smart and savvy business woman who knows her market. Her website is informative and elegantly organized to not only showcase her photos, but to also make it very easy for prospective clients to see photos like the ones they are looking to have done. So, if she has a website, why have a Facebook page?
Facebook is the fastest growing website on the planet. When my mother is on Facebook and has almost more friends than I do, I feel pretty safe in saying that, yes indeed, “Everyone” is on Facebook. Which means that eyeballs which might want your products and services are also on Facebook.
In my opinion, you don’t have a Facebook page instead of a website. You have a Facebook page in addition to a website.
Have you ever heard of “Marketing Outposts”? If you haven’t, allow me to explain. For the rest of you, skip to the next paragraph ☺. An outpost is any other place on the internet, or in the brick and mortar world, which showcases your product and then sends the consumer to your main website or store. You know those kiosks in the mall that some companies use to showcase the products they feature in their regular store? Those would be an physical example of a marketing outpost.
A Facebook page is really nothing more than that: A small place to show your “stuff” and then send your potential client on to your website where they can get more information. It’s also a place where you can interact with your customers, be a real human being, and gain their trust. So, I guess a Facebook page can also make you “real”.
In Kari’s case, a Facebook page can showcase photos in addition to the ones she has on her website. And, as she posts them, these pictures show up on her friends’ “wall” so they see what she’s up to also. Every time a set of pictures rolls by on their wall they remind themselves “Oh yeah, Susie’s birthday is next month, I need to call Kari and schedule a session.” Or “Wow, she does pictures of couples when they are expecting? What a great idea! I need to call her.”
So, do you need a Facebook page? In my humble opinion, yes, you do. It’s another place to showcase your work, it’s a place to show customers that your a person with a life, which makes you more approachable, and it’s another way for potential customers to contact you. They see pictures they like they hit the message button the top of the page and you’ve got yourself a lead. Also, a Facebook page has become what a website was ten years ago; if you don’t have one you simply don’t look relevant to today’s consumer. Which is a scary thought for any small business person.
Facebook. A “Like” in my book ☺.