A lot of marketing folks are saying that the inevitable has happened: ALL businesses must be on Facebook. While I agree that there are many advantages to marketing with Facebook, I do not think it's Armageddon if you do not. With that said, let's try to determine if you should be using Facebook for your business.
There are 3 main factors that you should consider when considering a Facebook business page:
Are your customers on Facebook?
There are over 1 billion people on Facebook, but are any of them in your target market? Facebook is not for everyone and if your target market is not active on Facebook, then you probably should not use Facebook as a marketing tool for your business.
How can you tell if your target market is on Facebook? Look at your competitors. Are they on Facebook and do they have active, engaged fan bases? If not, then it might be difficult for you to find customers on Facebook as well, and there may be better ways to spend your time on marketing. But, if you're competitors seem to be having some success (frequent content, lots of likes and comments), then chances are you'll have opportunities for your own success.
How much time are you able to spend on marketing with Facebook?
Facebook is a time commitment. One that can have great benefits, but it's not something you can set and forget. So, before you get going, do you have 1-2 hours a week that you can devote to building your brand through Facebook?
Can you think of how you would use Facebook for your business?
Maybe you've heard stories or saw things on your competitors' Facebook pages that you think will be beneficial to your business. Can you use these? The important thing is that you enter into Facebook with a rough plan of how you would use Facebook for your business. If you are joining simply because everyone else else is, then you may want to reconsider.
That's not to say that you would not derive some benefit from joining, but worse than not having a presence on Facebook is having a negative presence by keeping a complaint page. Inactive pages with out-of-date content and only a handful of likes can reflect negatively on even the best businesses, so make sure you have a plan for actually using it.
Should I Use Facebook For My Business?
If your target market is on Facebook and you can think of a few ways to reach them, then the answer is yes, put your business on Facebook. It will be well worth the time you need to devote.