Facebook is an effective way for small business owners to interact with their customers in a cost-efficient manner. The mass appeal -- as of 2012 -- of this social networking platform has many small business owners feeling they must have a presence on the site to remain competitive. While there are some advantages to embracing social media marketing, there are a number of disadvantages to marketing your business on Facebook, as well.
Facebook was designed as an interactive online forum that encourages members to share information via photos, video clips, links and written posts. While account owners ultimately have control of what remains on their public profile, there is little control over who posts information or what those posts contain. It is relatively easy for a competitor, angry customer or disgruntled employee to post accusatory comments that are inflammatory, derogatory or otherwise slanderous to your business on your Facebook wall. Even well-meaning posters may use language or photos that are not in line with the image you want to maintain for your business. Maintaining vigilant control over the content that appears on your Facebook page takes the time and effort of approved content monitors, which can be costly and time-consuming for small business owners.
Content pages must continually be updated with new information that readers will find useful, beneficial or interesting for Facebook marketing to be effective. This requires development of a detailed innovative social media marketing strategy -- a costly investment for small advertising budgets. Facebook marketing strategies include video product demonstrations, interactive forums and online contests, all of which must be created, uploaded, monitored and maintained by a business owner, staff member or social media advertising agency.
Marketing platforms executed via Facebook are open to easy duplication by competitors. Rival business owners can easily pose as “friends” or “fans” to gain access to your content. Photos, artwork and other images posted to your site are easily accessed and reused by visitors and can show up in other places you may not approve of.
Social media platforms like Facebook were created to facilitate the casual sharing of information that may not mesh with the professional reputation you want to establish for your business. For example, Facebook marketing of a nightclub needs to be vastly different from Facebook marketing of a doctor’s office or law practice. Care must be taken to develop and maintain a Facebook presence that reflects your corporate philosophy, or it could place your company at a disadvantage.
While basic Facebook pages are free of charge for personal users, business accounts that feature advertising opportunities come with a price tag attached. This added promotional expense can be a disadvantage for small business owners.