According to Pew, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Coming-and-going-on-facebook.aspx ,two-thirds of online American adults are Facebook users, making Facebook the dominant social networking site in this country. That fact alone is often enough for many small and medium sized businesses to commit to spending on Facebook.
But consider what Pew is telling us – times and interests change. Of the 61 percent who leave Facebook at least temporarily, the largest group -- 21 percent -- said that their “Facebook vacation” was a result of being too busy with other demands or not having time to spend on the site. Others pointed toward a general lack of interest in the site itself (10 percent mentioned this in one way or another), an absence of compelling content (10 percent), excessive gossip or “drama” from their friends (9 percent), or concerns that they were spending too much time on the site and needed to take a break (8 percent).
Also, 20 percent of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so, according to Pew.
Facebook has several options for small and medium sized business including ones tied to mobile. For instance, Nearby allows users in a mobile application to discover new places their friends like.
Beyond that, businesses can tap into Sponsored Stories that recommends brand pages and content based on friends' activities. Early results showed effectiveness of ads 12 times higher on mobile compared to desktop on average, plus the ads were 45 percent less expensive.
Another option is Promoted Posts that uses the News Feed to highlight content from pages that a user’s friends Like.
The upshot of the Pew study: much like a business can’t carry just one style of shoe or suit, it should use even limited promotional dollars in diversified ways to cover the changes interests of customers and prospects.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program <http://goo.gl/S6P7m>, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.