If you stood on a street corner and asked people passing by, "Excuse me, do you think a modern business should use social media?" I believe that almost every one of them would give a resounding "Yes!" if not an "Of course!" or even a scathing "Well, DUH". So here is why I don't have a link to Facebook:
I hate using it.
Mind you, I do not hate Facebook itself, nor Facebook users, not at all. You are lovely, you are wonderful, you are one hundred percent absolutely stupendously super-terrifically fantastic, one and all! And Facebook and other social media outlets help businesses tremendously, from the small to the large. It helps humanize your brand, keeps your business in front of people's eyes, and gives potential customers or past customers another avenue for input. So two years ago I felt I had to bite the bullet and try it for Printable Press.
I was incapable of sustaining it—I kept petering off, making the Facebook page look like an underwatered wilting plant. I couldn't generate a feeling of sincerity when posting cute-yet-brand-relevant images every day.
So I bit a second bullet, and hired a Facebook expert. I wanted someone else to post for me for a while, and to tell me how to post. For many this is the right way to go. For me, it was not.
—Post an image every day, if not twice a day.
—Sound authentic, but make sure your voice aligns with your brand.
—End posts with a question, such as "What do you think?" in order to engage your audience.
—Every few days include a photo of an attractive person or cute animal in your post.
—Every week post a "Call to Action". Tell people they should look at your blog, your new products, or check out a sale.
—Twice a week pay to have a post show up to all your friends. Your unpaid posts show up in only a small percentage of people's feeds, around 15%, even when "liked" or friended.
Here's the thing: it didn't generate any profit. No matter how we figured the conversions, in three months not one sale was brought by Facebook ads or calls to action. So why was I forcing myself into a marketing headspace (aka feelin' phoney) with no guaranteed profit?
I stopped caring if it would eventually bring in business, hell I stopped caring if it would eventually make me a million dollars.
I do not regret the experiment, I do not regret trying. So here's the question: can a business survive, in the current social media era, without a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, a Google Plus circle, and all the other things I am almost certainly behind on?
I will only and forever do things that feel sincere to me. Here are my own social media rules:
—Only do what is sincere.