Why should my small business use Facebook?

For small businesses that are thinking about using social media or starting to dip their toe in the water, the sheer number of tools (i.e., social networks) available to use can be staggering. One social network that is often the first businesses sign up for is Facebook, but not everyone is convinced it has value.

There are so many advantages for small businesses if they choose to use Facebook. Here are just five reasons we encourage many of our clients to be active on this channel - and why you should consider Facebook for your small business:

1) Easy two-way conversation

While business pages can’t go to personal profiles and engage with users individually, they can share engaging content that gets the conversation going on their page. It’s not always about making a sale - often the purpose of these conversations is simply to stay top of mind with fans so when they do need your small business’ services, it’s more likely they’ll look to you first.

2) Scalability and reach

Sure Facebook is the largest social network in the world with 1.15 billion accounts and over half (699 million)* are active daily. The truth is, despite that large number, if your audience isn’t on Facebook then your business shouldn’t be either. But if your audience is on Facebook, then the advantage of being able to grow your business by sharing helpful content to a growing audience is too good to pass up.

*As of June 2013

3) Cost-effective platform

Facebook is not free. There is no monetary cost to using it, unless you want to place ads (more on that later) but there is a time cost. Your time as a small business owner has a great deal of value, so the time spent promoting your business through social media channels must be effective and efficient. We believe Facebook can be very cost-effective and using it to grow your business doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time.

4) Cost-effective advertising

Have you looked at the cost of a newspaper or magazine ad lately? Sometimes that’s the best route for a small business to go because the return is well worth the investment. However, many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to make that gamble. Traditional advertising is based on a broadcasting model with minimal targeting available. Facebook advertising gives small businesses the ability to buy inexpensive ads that are highly targeted to the interests of fans and non-fans.

5) Build a community

As you increase the two-way conversations with a targeted audience, you’ll eventually find you’ve built a community - not a fan list. The connection within a community is much stronger and longer-lasting than the mere association between a business and its customers.

Given how many people use Facebook and how simple a tool it is to use, Facebook is often the easiest and best way to start using social media for your small business.

What other reasons compel you to use Facebook for your small business?


All month long here on the Wellman Wilson blog, we’re going back to the basics in honour of the newly launched Simple Start program. The program is designed to walk you through launching (or restarting or improving) your presence on either Facebook or Twitter. It’s not just for beginners either - even experienced social media users need that fresh start every now and then. Grab the free version of Simple Start by signing up to our newsletter now.

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending March 9

Over the week we go through a lot of content - news and blog posts, how tos and conceptual posts on the state of the internet.  Every Sunday we share some of our favourites with you.

Check out the links and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you read any great posts this week!


I’m back and had a great time on my first real family vacation! Karen did a great job making sure you all still got great content to check out while I was gone! :)

Sesame Street is the first non-profit to hit 1 billion views on YouTube. I can’t say I’m surprised - theirs is one of the few channels I subscribe to and watch not only with my kids but on my own on a regular basis.  So much fun content! I love how they celebrated the milestone! (Here’s another one of my favourites)

When I think about the future of technology I can’t believe what people expect to be on it’s way down the pipeline. (via Twist Image)

Facebook advertising can be a tricky thing, but also a really good thing. Amy Porterfield is an amazing resource for all things Facebook and I especially find her Facebook ad information very informative.  This week she shared 7 tips on Facebook ads.


There are some who believe so strongly in creating evergreen content that they have started to exclude the date from the posts on their website. I’m gonna go with Adam Singer on this and say it’s not a good idea. (Future Buzz)

I couldn’t help but laugh at the title of this one: Is the Harlem Shake Stupid? (Social Fresh) I don’t think the answer to that question is hard. I am so tired of this meme and I don’t want to see it anymore, but Jason Keath makes some really interesting points that businesses can use going forward.

It was a week of big changes. In the case of Google+, the changes are enormous (ReadWrite). But let’s be honest - there really isn’t a huge number of people who care about the changes Google+ made. It’s the changes to Facebook Newsfeed that are the really big news of this week. We’re going to write about the newsfeed announcement this week, but Jon Loomer’s overview will give you a good idea of what’s coming.

Speaking of Facebook - it’s a common practice that people ask for a like or a share. Sometimes, it’s easier to simply design your content to be appropriate for one or the other. This is what is meant by that vague instruction to “be engaging”. 

The most obvious number that shows up in Facebook Metrics is reach. Unfortunately, its value is definitely up for debate. Check out what Danny Brown has to say about reach. I think it’s worth considering.

The Media Mesh

What you might have missed this week on the Media Mesh:

Anna Belanger conquers Facebook

Back to basics: three steps to using LinkedIn more effectively

Being successful as a woman in business

App of the Week

This one is web-based, so it’s operating system agnostic. And I think it’s my latest favourite website. It’s called Content Idea Generator and I think it’s brilliant. Even if it doesn’t work precisely, I love that I can come up with ideas faster thanks to the push this nifty little tool gives me.

Leave us a comment and tell us what some of your favourite reads were this week!

Skip the gimmicks, share engaging content, and don't annoy your fans

It hasn’t been that long since Lara and I posted about our social media pet peeves, but one of them needs a bit more attention. In the post we wrote a couple of weeks ago, I said this about the practice of posting links in the comments:

Oh, EdgeRank dodgers, there are easier and far less annoying ways to reach your audience!!!

Consider this, you’re a user and you’re on a phone and clicking to the comments slows you down (A LOT), so you actively avoid clicking through to the comments to click the link. 

What, my dear EdgeRank dodgers, will that do to your EdgeRank? 

The bottom line is that if annoying your audience is the cost of reaching them, then the price is too high. We recommend avoiding that particular problem. A far simpler way to have a text update is simply to click X and close the thumbnail preview. There’s no need to post the link in the comments. 

Page admins are trying everything under the sun to keep EdgeRank from thwarting their efforts to capture eyeballs and clickthroughs. A friend tipped me off to one page admin that put a period in the status and posted their entire update, with link, in the comments.

Can we agree that things have gone a bit too far?

A while back, Mari Smith shared an image on her Facebook page that referenced the stats from the PostRocket blog (link above). In the image description, she said:

One way I use regularly myself is exactly like this post - upload an image with the link! Another way is to ‘x’ out the link preview (and it then posts as if a regular text status update).

I’ve conveniently left out her advice to post the link in the first comment because I think it’s advice that will hurt page engagement and EdgeRank in the long run and here’s why:

  1. Mobile users. In Q4 of 2012 mobile use of Facebook finally surpassed desktop web browsers. That means that people who want to see your link in the comments have to tap to a new screen to expand comments, then they have to tap on the link.
  2. Close the thumbnail. As Mari pointed out, all you have to do is paste the link in the status and close the thumbnail once it loads. Voila! Text update. Why annoy users when you don’t have to?
  3. Comment barrage. As soon as you start racking up enough comments that they get nested and you have to click to load more, you’ve lost people. It doesn’t matter where they’re accessing Facebook, they shouldn’t have to work that hard to get to your content. (Ever heard of the three click rule?)

What works for your audience?

I recently posted a whole series of about 10 articles to our Facebook page with thumbnails intact and no link in the status. The reach was comparable to any other post we’ve shared. And this is my bonus reason #4: Just because the stats say it works, doesn’t mean mean it will for you. Every audience is different. Test out different post types and times and don’t get caught up in the stats. I can find you a different study that will give you totally different results.

It’s frustrating to know that EdgeRank can have such a dramatic impact on what your followers see, but gimmicky trends are not the answer. A frustrated fan is not an engaged fan and that will hurt your reach/EdgeRank more than it will help.

I think it’s more sensible to use solid tactics that work to increase engagement rather than potentially damaging ones.

What are your thoughts on this practice? Do you like it or hate it?

The challenge of increasing Facebook fan page visibility

Back in the fall of 2012, Facebook announced that they were going to add page notifications and a pages feed to everyone’s personal profile. I was pretty excited about this development when it happened, but ultimately, there are very few pages I want to receive notifications from. I was more excited about the pages feed, but I realized recently that I haven’t even looked at it since the first few days after the announcement. Have you?

When I realized that, I jumped on Facebook to take a look. Yep, it was still there. Just waiting for my attention. And I’ll make a conscious effort to have a look at it now. Then I found a really wonderful little feed right below it. It’s called the Like Pages feed. There’s always been a place like this, but it wasn’t so readily available. I somehow missed when this one went live. I was impressed with the pages presented to me. They were definitely related to content I’m interested in and I immediately liked about 20 pages from the list.

That leads to another interesting change: Facebook has started displaying a list of page recommendations when you’re on a page and click like. The algorithm may not be perfect, but the idea is interesting.

My first thought when I saw this was that Facebook could monetize this and allow businesses to buy recommendation spots, much like AdWords. Like every other step toward monetizing their service, it would certainly be controversial.

Either way, it’s good to see that Facebook is continuing to give pages various options for improving their visibility in a space where the competition for eyeballs keeps growing exponentially.

What is your biggest challenge with reaching your audience on Facebook?

Guest post: Social Media Numbers

So your Klout is 57.  You have 1200 Twitter followers.  130 people like your Facebook page.  87 people subscribe to your blog. You have 98 connections on Linkedin and 400 people in Circles on Google+.  Now what?

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers when it comes to Social Media.  There are systems that are dedicated to measuring influence in the online world, but sometimes those numbers don’t tell the full story.  

Feeling stressed about the numbers? You aren’t alone.  People are wondering how their vacation will affect their Klout scores, or how to increase their Twitter followers.  Social Media Strategies are put in place and ultimately everyone want to know how to get those numbers up.

The numbers can be useful.  Analysis and measurement can tell real stories and help guide future decisions.  Your numbers can be used to obtain new clients or advertisers.   Larger numbers can mean more impressions for your business or writing.  I would be remiss to completely dismiss these numbers.
But numbers aren’t everything and shouldn’t dictate what you do online.  If you target your social media profiles to be only avenues to increase your numbers, you are completely missing the point of social media.   

How do you recognize the numbers and avoid the stress?

  1. Remember that they will fluctuate.  Sometimes life gets in the way of being online and that’s ok.  These numbers will go up and down but as long as you keep a fairly consistent presence (and message), it shouldn’t be a concern.

  2. Be proud of your numbers, no matter how big or small.  Some of the best blogs I read don’t have a lot of twitter followers, but that doesn’t make them any less influential in certain social media circles.   

  3. When setting out your social media goals, instead of looking at increasing your numbers by a specific amount, try focusing on how you will be increasing them.  Then, you can measure success not only by what the numbers are telling you but by what worked to get there.

  4. Find ways to track your numbers without going crazy.  Do you want to see them weekly and compare? Monthly? If you check them every day it will become an obsession and not a productive one.

  5. No matter what, the quality of your content, posts, discussions and level of engagement will ultimately be what impacts your numbers.  So have fun with it and try to enjoy social media for what it is - a way to learn, share and engage.

Rebecca blogs about family and motherhood, is a self-professed foodie, and dabbles in online engagement and community giving.  She has a strange love for maple syrup that can possibly only be matched by her love for chocolate and coffee.

My BlackBerry Wears a SuperHero Cape

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