Facebook Page To Promote Business- Pros And Cons

Business By DeliciousEmma Updated 1 Sep 2014 , 2:54am by costumeczar

DeliciousEmma Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 2:24am
post #1 of 19

This topic was raised in the 'Things not to say to a baker' thread when we were trying to work out how we attract some bad clients, and I said:

 

"I'm wondering if using Facebook 'casualises' business transaction?

I use Facebook in my personal life and I have 'liked' various businesses both small and large and it's a great way to advertise.

However, I wonder if people who are just casually browsing Facebook contact businesses just to get an idea of pricing without any real intention to buy?

Because you are 'just' a home business, and 'just' use Facebook, maybe people don't take it seriously? Taking a deposit and having a contract would be a way to lift the bar."

 

I was just wondering what other peoples thoughts and experiences are of using Facebook for your business. So far I have decided not to use it as I primarily do wholesale business and sell direct to cafes, restaurants etc and not direct to the customer. Also, I use it in my personal life and I know the limitations.

18 replies
LizKatherine Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 2:12pm
post #2 of 19

Interesting thoughts here. I used to have a Facebook for personal use, but I decided to go off. For me, the cons were being too easily accessible and always connected and distracting from my work and stuff. But for a business, I think being accessible by customers and connected are important aspects of a good business. Also considering almost everyone uses Facebook, I think it is a good way to get in touch with almost anyone. Also easy to spread the word, I feel. Friends of friends of friends... that's a pro of social media. 

 

On the flip side, Facebook is really generic. It would be difficult to stand out because everyone has one. It also seems a bit unprofessional for a business. I think a business should have its own website to do it justice. 

 

So maybe, Facebook would be helpful in addition to a website. That seems like a great combo! 

thecakewitch Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 3:27pm
post #3 of 19

ANo matter what kind of advertising or marketing media you use, if you present yourself (not only personally but also the way you communicate through fb or whatnot) as a cheap, lousy, don't take your business seriously cake maker etc. that's the same market you will attract.

cai0311 Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 5:45pm
post #4 of 19

AI do not have a facebook account, so for me, any business that does not have a traditional website won't get my business. I have been selling cakes for 7 years now without a facebook page (I DO have a website) and not a single person said anything. I can't even recall a bride asking me if I am on facebook.

Cevamal Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 7:07pm
post #5 of 19

AJust FYI business sites are (or at least should be) public. You don't have to have a Facebook account to see them.

As a customer I don't think more or less of a business for having a Facebook site. It is crucial to have some sort of web presence, though. Facebook is definitely better than nothing.

cakesbycathy Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 11:31pm
post #6 of 19

I have FB page for my business.  I would say that at least 30% of my orders come from people who found me on FB first.  I do direct them to my website if they inquire about ordering.  But I get a lot of business from my page.  Keep in mind that "likes" do NOT equal orders.

 

IMO most businesses have a FB page and if you are taking this seriously as a business (not just a hobby to make a little extra cash) then you should have a professional looking page.

cakesbycathy Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 11:35pm
post #7 of 19

And don't underestimate the power of social media.  I have gotten orders from people in my town because someone they are friends with on FB liked my page and then they liked it too.  Chances are I wouldn't have necessarily gotten the order otherwise.  Nowadays they look on FB rather than than calling the person up and saying "hey who'd you order your last birthday cake from?"

FrostedMoon Posted 26 Aug 2014 , 12:30am
post #8 of 19

I have a facebook page and a traditional website.  Facebook is great for getting your product out there if you can tap in to a local network.  I also like it because it's much easier to update with pictures than my website is.  A con is people don't always realize that a picture on a friend's feed can be from a business across the country, so make sure to double check that they know where you are.  

cai0311 Posted 27 Aug 2014 , 3:05pm
post #9 of 19

A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cevamal 

Just FYI business sites are (or at least should be) public. You don't have to have a Facebook account to see them.

As a customer I don't think more or less of a business for having a Facebook site. It is crucial to have some sort of web presence, though. Facebook is definitely better than nothing.

 

I know I don't need an account to view a business' facebook website. I tend to view facebook as an addition to a traditional website and not the professional way to go. IMO facebook doesn't instill trust in me that the business is more than a hobby.

Now, if you want to have both - then go for it. But I won't just do facebook.

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 6:48pm
post #10 of 19

Some of the most professional and well-respected individuals and companies have FB pages.

 

You also have the ability to reach so many more people with a FB page, than with just a website.  I think it's a mistake to underestimate the power of social media.

CakeRae80 Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 7:22pm
post #11 of 19

I have a Facebook page for my cakes.  I do not think it is a bad thing to do, but that is my opinion.  What I do not like are people go onto the Facebook yard sale pages that are local to me and post extravagant cakes and want them for cheap, which that is their choice to do that.  But then my friends think they are helping me and they tag me as my personal Facebook to suggest I can do the cakes.  By all means, I am not "cheap" for my prices, they are the going rate with others in my area.  I know that my friends think they are trying to help me with business, but the people on these sites complain if you sell anything for more than $5, so they will not like the prices I will quote them.  Some of the people have reached out to me and sent a personal message and I replied with the price, to which I would hear I will get back to you, or heard nothing at all.  I feel bad telling my friends not to do that, since they are only trying to be nice and helpful.  Some have caught on that I don't like that and have stopped, thankfully.

costumeczar Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 11:41pm
post #12 of 19

Of course you should have a facebook page for your business, but it shouldn't be your "website" that serves as the only way for customers to contact you. Facebook is a free way to put your website links and contact information in front of customers who might find you through other local businesses, which you should be networking with through facebook.

 

It also serves as a way to increase your customer base whether you believe it or not. People who find your site will likely have a facebook page, so if they like your page and they see you in their newsfeed and like your posts or whatever, their friends will see that too. And people who see your facebook page will go to your website if you have it set up correctly. I have brides tell me that they're "all over" my facebook page all the time. It's a place to put more photos, photos of you working, etc etc, that you wouldn't normally put on your website, but that will interest customers.

 

The mistake that I see people making is making a business page but using a personal page, which means that you have to have people send friend requests and approve them. Make sure that you're actually using a business page, not a personal page.

 

Another mistake is using a facebook page EXCLUSIVELY ,in lieu of a website. That looks very Craigslist-y. You might even want to turn off the messaging on your page so that customers have to contact you through your website. I have people contact me abotu wedding cakes through my facebook page, and I always ask for their email address so that I can email them and get facebook out of the picture. It's very unreliable when it comes to delivering messages.

 

Here's an article about how to maximize setting up your business page: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/07/13/seo-facebook-pages-10-key-strategies/

FrostedMoon Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 1:01am
post #13 of 19

Absolutely agree with costumeczar.  One more mistake I think some business pages make is sometimes treating their business page like a personal page with inappropriate status updates.  Complaints about work, customers, and just about anything else have no business being on a business page.  You have to remember to be professional at all times when you are being seen as a business.  Also, remember there are going to be personal friends that like your business page.  One friend was complaining that another home baker posted how everyone in her house had a stomach bug the day before and then posted on her business page the cakes she had made that same night.  Yuck and yuck.

costumeczar Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 3:22am
post #14 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrostedMoon 
 

 One friend was complaining that another home baker posted how everyone in her house had a stomach bug the day before and then posted on her business page the cakes she had made that same night.  Yuck and yuck.

oh no.no.no...Gross.

 

There's a local baker who went nuts at one point and started posting all kinds of stuff about how her business was failing even though she was so much better than any other baker in town, people didn't appreciate her skills, she would take on any baker in town in a challenge, etc etc. It was fun to watch but boy oh boy, it didn't reflect well on her business.

ellavanilla Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 3:46pm
post #15 of 19

I just saw a close up of a broken toe... not good eats. 

costumeczar Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 6:14pm
post #16 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellavanilla 
 

I just saw a close up of a broken toe... not good eats.

Oh Good God Almighty... who puts that on a business page!!! Get a grip. people!

DeliciousEmma Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 12:41am
post #17 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

Oh Good God Almighty... who puts that on a business page!!! Get a grip. people!

I'm glad it's not just me who sees these things and thinks this way.

 

I guess this feeds into a bigger discussion on what is professional conduct for a cake decorator/baker etc, but I've found it very helpful. Thank you for your thoughts.

FrostedMoon Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 12:58am
post #18 of 19

This brings up a really important point.  As professionals we need to be thinking of our business persona all the time.  My husband saw a comment and picture I posted on cake central of a cake I made that I wasn't happy with.  His reaction was "you better hope your customer never sees that."  We post rants here all the time, but if your website and/or business name is part of your post here, that post can be linked and search engines can find it. Hate to feel so paranoid about it, but it's a valid professional concern.   I'm going to go back and edit that post.  :/

costumeczar Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 2:54am
post #19 of 19

A

Original message sent by FrostedMoon

This brings up a really important point.  As professionals we need to be thinking of our business persona all the time.  My husband saw a comment and picture I posted on cake central of a cake I made that I wasn't happy with.  His reaction was "you better hope your customer never sees that."  We post rants here all the time, but if your website and/or business name is part of your post here, that post can be linked and search engines can find it. Hate to feel so paranoid about it, but it's a valid professional concern.   I'm going to go back and edit that post.  :/

That's why i was incognito on this site when I first started out here. Then i realized that i wasn't going to come on a public forum and gripe about specific customers anyway, so I don't care if people know who i am now :)

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