by Paula on November 2, 2010

I witnessed a conversation today where a company was dismissing Facebook as an option for their business due to the fact that it “couldn’t be controlled” and “people could potentially post negative things about them”.

Both of their comments about Facebook Fan Pages are accurate in that you are opening yourself up to visible feedback and comment and as such relinquishing some of your “control”.

But does this mean it’s correct to automatically dismiss it?

Personally I believe that part of this new generation of Social Media marketing means moving outside of your corporate comfort zone and changing your advertising focus from a one-way push of information, to a 2-way exchange of information.

Not every person is going to sing your praises but what Social Media management offers you is: a) the opportunity to hear what’s being said and be aware of it, and b) the opportunity to respond to it immediately and learn from it. If what’s being posted about you on Social Media networks is defamatory and incorrect you can take action. If it’s customer’s opinion, then rather than try to prevent criticism, would it be more positive to welcome it, learn from it and talk back to your audience about why it happened, what you’ve learnt and how you might prevent it in future? Perhaps even asking for advice from clients about how you might best overcome such situations, explaining your side of things. Wow, a company that did that would really impress me and gain my interest!

The other angle of course is that it may well be that Facebook is not an appropriate platform for this company to promote itself and engage with its clients. The benefit you will get from having a Social Media Manager is that you won’t just take a scatter gun approach to Social Media, you will have someone who will have time to get to know your business, understand your goals and recommend which networks can best provide your business with results.

So if you are dismissing Facebook after assessment, understanding and a strategic decision that it does not offer you what you want, then great. But just be sure that your reasons are valid and that you’re not dismissing a fantastic marketing opportunity through fear of opening up to your client base – warts and all.

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