Facebook Business Pages: The Dangers

Many small business owners rely on Facebook business pages for their online presence. "I don't need a website," they tell me. "See, I get this free Facebook business page and I can promote my company as well as share information with my customers."

Our local health food store has a business page...the dog trainer I follow for tips to train Zeke has a website and a Facebook page, but he rarely updates his website. Local companies often spend time and effort on their Facebook presence without a website.

It's a huge mistake. Marketing misinformation is rampant, especially around setting up a presence online. Be smart and avoid these mistakes.

She Lost Everything When Her Facebook Business Page Was Hacked

I felt like a broken record telling small business clients, "Don't do this" but it wasn't until an email reached my desk today from fellow marketing consultant Sandra Martini that I saw firsthand the chilling effects of what happens when a Facebook page is hacked.

Sandra's email detailed a nightmarish story unfolding on her Facebook account. Sandra's business account generated $50,000 of sales (her business books and consulting packages) yet she lost it all in one day.

Here's what happened.

Someone hacked her Facebook account. That person began charging advertising to her account to the tune of $1,600. Then, they reversed the charges and took the money. Facebook immediately canceled her accounts -- all of them -- for suspicious activity.

Sandra lost:

  • Her business Facebook page, which she had spent a decade building
  • Her personal Facebook account, which she used to keep in touch with family and friends
  • Access to several clients' Facebook pages which she was responsible for managing

Her words of advice: Never have only one administrator on the account. Always have a backup. And never rely solely on Facebook pages for revenue, customer contact, or your business presence.

Why Have a Backup Administrator on a Facebook Business Page?

When Sandra's account was hacked, the company notified her of suspicious activity. Since she was the only person on the account, however, when they locked the account, she had no way of recovering the information.

A second administrator unlinked to her personal page may have been able to salvage the account and with it the decade of hard work that she'd put into building her social media presence.

Granting someone else in your company admin rights to your Facebook business page is a smart idea.

Websites Are Essential for ALL Businesses

It sounds strange to have to say this but yes, a website is essential for all small businesses today. It should be built for mobile-first as the majority of people now use mobile devices to access the web. It should also be properly optimized for search engines. Even if your business relies on local traffic only, people still search online for your address, phone number, menu, hours, or other information.

When you build your own website, you own it. Unlike a Facebook business page, which can disappear at the whim of Facebook, your website is your own property and a valuable asset for your company. Purchasing the domain name and setting up a simple hosted WordPress site may take a few days, but it is well worth the effort and gives you a prime piece of 'online real estate' to call your own.

If you're not sure how to set up a website, please contact Seven Oaks Consulting. We'd be delighted to help you build a permanent online "home" for your business - aka, a website.

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