Facebook loses 600,000 users by the end of last year

Has Facebook reached saturation point?  Or are people just fed up with it?  Do you use it?  Is it good for keeping in touch with family or do you find it an essential business tool?

Facebook lends itself more naturally to businesses that are trying to engage with the general public (B2C) rather than those aiming at other businesses (B2B), however it is a useful tool if you understand how to use it strategically for your target audience.

Facebook is not for the hard sell – it is called social media, because it has a social purpose, to talk with your prospects.  Therefore you need to talk and act as you would in any other social situation.

You would not (I hope) walk up to someone at an event and say, “Here is my card, this is what I do” give them the sales pitch and walk off.  You would talk, engage in dialogue, discuss mutually interesting issues,  Facebook is no different.

Post interesting articles that your audience would like to read, help them to solve a problem or work out a solution to a pressing matter.  Funny anecdotes encourage them to share your page, top tips, special offers, competitions, discussions are all ways in which you can engage your audience.  It is part of relationship marketing, which is what is now necessary to build a customer base and to develop trust and loyalty.

Other forms of social media appearing such as Pinterest and Instagram mean that people find other ways that are more visual to exchange ideas and share passions, which means that they can be more targeted in people they mix with online.  It is easier to have one personal account and one business account with other forms of social media, so those wanting to use it purely for business can follow their peers and talk to them without the distractions of their personal account.  However Facebook being so rigid and strict with its terms and conditions, not allowing users to have multiple accounts and insisting on having a personal account as the foundation, means that it is more distracting and harder to switch off.  Yes you can set your profile to your business page, but the temptation is still there

Or maybe Facebook has peaked and with all its controversy, changes and mundanity has finally started to drive away market share rather than continue to attract it?

What are your thoughts?  Has Facebook really helped you shape your business or has it only really been something you use in your personal life? I am interested to hear your views.