I’m probably going to get hate mail for this article, but hey I can live with that.

It wasn’t so long ago that there was no such thing as Facebook. In fact Facebook only kicked off in 2004. It has gone mental and now there is reported to be over 800 million active users.

At the outset that sounds awesome. A place you can “hang out”, share your news, views, photos etc with thousands of “friends”. But why are people there?

What is their commercial intent?

I would suggest there is very little intent by most people on Facebook to do business. People aren’t there to buy, and I’d suggest they’re not there to research buying a product or service. They are there to chat.

Most actual marketing aside from PR stuff done on Facebook involves intercepting someones pattern. It’s a case of ‘look at me, I just ate dinner and BTW did you know you can buy this widget from me’. It just doesn’t make sense.

Now I’m not saying Facebook isn’t suited to some businesses. I think you need to test and measure and a key factor is time.

We all have 1440 minutes in a day. If you love Facebook then fine, devote your time to doing posts and building your network. But beware that time is money, and if you’re not turning that time into money in the bank, why are you bothering?

There are so many different (better!) ways to spread your word to those people who are in the buying mood. Where people have the intent to enter into a transaction. Such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Youtube – done correctly, a video can show up on a normal Google search
  • Blogging
  • Forums

Someone who Googles ‘Wedding dress for sale’ has an outcome. They aren’t there to talk about wedding dresses, they are there to buy one. Someone who goes to a forum and says ‘where can I buy XYZ motorcycle helmet’ has commercial intent.

At the end of the day to decide whether Facebook is for you ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have the time?
  2. Is my target discussing my service / product on Facebook?
  3. Can I test the results (sales) I get?
  4. Do I enjoy it?

If your answers are mainly a yes, great. If not, then for you Facebook marketing is a crap idea.