Why Facebook ISN’T Just For Annoying Baby Pictures


Nearly half of all Australian small businesses who are online use Facebook to promote their business, but only a handful are doing it right, writes Nadia Stennett.

'Seventeen different baby photos and five updates of what people ate... This is so riveting!'

‘Seventeen different baby photos and five updates of what people ate… This is so riveting!’

One in three 18-34 year-olds check Facebook before getting out of bed each day.

You didn’t read that wrong. That’s one in three people who are literally prioritising updating their status and scrolling through their feed before even going to the loo or taking a shower.

But Facebook isn’t limited to young people. Current figures show one in every 13 people on earth now use it in some way. And here’s something else you probably wish you didn’t know, six per cent of people will even use Facebook on the toilet (2013 Yellow Social Media Report).

…six per cent of people will even use Facebook on the toilet 

So if your business isn’t on Facebook, then, what are you doing…really?

According to the latest Sensis data, only 39 per cent of Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) who are online use social media, while only one in four update it daily and just 40 per cent of businesses actually allow staff to access social media at all.

Facebook’s not just for annoying updates about what your health-obsessed friends ate for lunch or pictures of what your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s sister’s baby looks like every time it makes an expression.

So with the number of social media users continuing to explode, why are so many businesses still getting it wrong? It seems many Aussie SMEs are missing the point. Facebook’s not just for annoying updates about what your health-obsessed friends ate for lunch and pictures of what your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s sister’s baby looks like every time it makes an expression.

Far from that, businesses that are using it successfully are finding it’s a tool to achieve a plethora of outcomes. Here are just a few…

1. Immediate feedback

Put yourself back in your customer shoes for a second. Is there anything more annoying than having a gripe about a product or a question about a service and having to wait 24 hours or more to get a response through an email form or return phone call? Facebook allows your clients to instantly express their feelings and receive a real-time response, creating a stronger line of communication for your business and allowing you to value clients on another level.

2. Brand mentions

The very nature of Facebook means clients can mention your brand in their posts, therefore sharing it with potentially hundreds of contacts who follow their feeds. Facebook also allows you to post links to your site to give clients more information about products or particular issues. And the more your brand is mentioned, the better your SEO rankings will become.

3. Facebook users like to share

Facebook is all about sharing, and the average Australian has around 300 friends on their Facebook account to share with. The potential to leverage essentially free brand publicity is huge. The more responsive you are to your clients on social media, and the more interesting and regular your business updates are, the more likely these people are to share them on with their friends, who can also share them on, and on, and on…

Have your say: Does your business use Facebook, and have you harnessed it as much as you could?

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