The Fear (& Joy) of having a Facebook Page

It’s Friday and I bet you’re eager to update your Facebook status with something on the lines of  ‘TGI Friday’ or check in at your local pub/bar. Today, my Facebook status update will be ‘Like my new page – Manylion Bach | Little Details Design is on Facebook!’

Yes, I’ve done it – I’ve finally set up a page on Facebook. Yikes! I have at it all – the blog, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. The only thing left to do is Instagram.

I’ve claimed www.facebook.com/ManylionBach and no one else can have that Facebook address, hooray!

To be honest, I was a bit scared setting up a new page for MB|LD on Facebook. There are so many questions and tick boxes to select when creating a new page on Facebook. I don’t really want to put my home address on the page and allow people to ‘Check-In’. I’m not a shop or place of interest. Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t made it easy for me!

The Fear: I’ve been putting off setting up MB|LD on Facebook until this week due to a number of reasons:

1. I am afraid of misleading potential clients and new followers that MB|LD is already up and running full time and a ‘proper company’ with a online shop,  stands in Wedding Fairs, festivals and Eisteddfodau and available 24/7. I’d like to think my blog, Twitter and Pinterest followers understand my personal journey of starting up a sideline, so I need to try to establish the same sentiment with my Facebook followers too and manage expectation.

It doesn’t mean that I won’t take on any new clients or turn down any job requests – I don’t want to receive too many requests and come to the point that I won’t be able to complete work while working full time or turn away potential clients. I’ll do my best, I’ll always be truthful and honest with clients. I don’t like disappointing people.

2. Facebook can be a ‘digital war zone’ – people are quick to post quite horrible comments or opinions on your wall, statuses, photos and videos and it can become very time consuming to manage. I fear the same might happen to MB|LD Design.

This is something I already experience daily by managing the company Facebook page. By company, I mean my current employer. I always fear updating the status or uploading a photo onto the company page – I guarantee that there’s always one or two (or ten!) will leave quite nasty comments about the company on the status or photo, regardless if it’s about service updates, special offers, good news or community work. Discussions, opinions and arguments can escalate quite quickly on Facebook and one day, I fear the media will pick up on it and have a field day about Mrs Jones not being happy about getting her train ticket checked by a conductor.

I do question these people why the have ‘Liked’ the company page in the first instance, and feel the need to tell us on a daily basis how rubbish the company’s service is. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all (or Unlike the company page).

3. Customer service is best done by email or telephone, not on Facebook. I don’t know if its me and my slight old fashioned/traditional way of thinking but I don’t not understand why someone feels the need to write on a company wall about their mouldy pasty they bought from a supermarket and how it gave them food poisoning (with graphic details). Is this the new and acceptable way of complaining?

I don’t agree with this ‘new’ way of complaining – If you can put the effort typing up a complaint on Facebook, I’m sure you can send an email to the company’s Customer Service department or complete an online form on their website.

Why would you make your complaint public? You probably have the urge to ‘show up’ a company and their allegedly poor service but not everyone wants to read your complaint (especially if you’ve had a dodgy stomach). Also, some complaints need to be investigated properly and some topics cannot be discussed publicly (especially if staff members are involved) and best kept off-line.

Quick questions and queries on Facebook (and Twitter) are ok – lengthy complaints or ‘I hate you with a passion’ is just plain rude and inappropriate. I will politely ask you to email me directly with your complaint or choose to ignore if it contains rude language.

The Joy: Facebook does have it’s good points regardless of my comments above. It doesn’t matter which social marketing tool you use, there’s always the small minority that spoilt it for everyone else. Twitter can be a horrid place as well. Pinterest hasn’t been affected by trolls just yet but I have see a one or two unappropiate pins or misleading content.

1. Facebook is excellent for promoting your company, service, product(s) and direct people to your website or shop. Facebook can generate sales as well, especially if you post a special offer or upload a photo of your latest product. With clever website analytics tools like Google Analytics, you can track how much traffic and sales is generated from your activity on Facebook. This is the same for Twitter.

2. Facebook is excellent in encouraging customer engagement – Yes, we want people talking about your company and products! This in turns turns into traffic to your website, more Likes and Follows and eventually sales. You might only have a few hundred likes but when you look at your Page Insights, your activity can be seen by thousands more. This is your Reach. All the comments and likes your followers post on your status updates and photo uploads is also seen by their friends, and friends of friends. Scary? Confusing? Yes, but this is a good thing. This is also known as ‘Word of Mouth’.

3. It’s Free! Free is the best price. We all love free! Free PR! Free marketing! Any company or business, new or well established, should have a presence on Facebook and Twitter to increase brand awareness and support company growth. You have no excuse not to be on Facebook and Twitter. It doesn’t cost a penny (if you don’t buy Facebook Adverts).

Despite my concerns and worries, I know having a page for MD|LD Design on Facebook will play a fundamental part of raising awareness of my new sideline and an excellent platform to share latest work and personal projects. End of the day, not everyone is on Twitter and not aware of Pinterest so I need to think about the folks who are active Facebook.

The page is looking rather empty at the moment so the next few days my plan of action is to think of a social marketing strategy and decide what to post and share on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and Pinterest, frequency and relevance. If I get to spammy, please let me know before ‘Unliking’ or ‘Unfollow’ me.

So after you’ve updated your status about how excited you are about the Bank Holiday Weekend, Like http://www.facebook.com/ManylionBach.

Have a good bank holiday weekend! Make the most of it as it’s the last one until end of August.

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