Why SMEs should have a Facebook presence

Mark Zuckerberg began it in 2004 as a way for Harvard students to keep in touch over the Internet.  It was a movie subject in 2010 and it currently boasts 800 million members worldwide from students to politicians to entertainers to NGOs.

Yes, you guessed right, it’s Facebook.  Such is the social networking site’s stickiness factor that most companies have reacted by banning their employees from accessing it using organisations’ resources. While this reaction may be justified on grounds that Facebook distracts employees’ concentration (they can now also access it using their mobile phones anyway). As an SME owner, you have no choice but to market your business through Facebook even if it’s for these reasons that it’s free to set up a page, over 1 million Kenyans are Facebook members and gigantic brands like Coca-Cola are already using the site to connect with their fans. However, just like any social media marketing campaign, you will have to build a foundation.

First, what do you want to achieve by joining? Is it a conduit to your website? How will you evaluate your success? Is it by the number of new fans your SME page gets, how many people respond to your promotions, etc? How often will you evaluate progress? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Who will be responsible for activating the page and keeping it active? Will it be you or will you outsource that task to someone else who has the time and experience in social media marketing? If you choose the former option how much time will you allocate to Facebook vis-à-vis your other duties as an SME owner? If you select the latter, how will you measure the consultant’s successes in meeting your objectives?

Once you have answered the above questions, you can confidently open a Facebook page. The next blog post will recommend some tactics to acquire and keep loyal fans.

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