There is no denying that social media is a very important component of our businesses. But is Facebook bad for business?
Here’s what happened that has me thinking about that:
This past weekend I was working on our business Facebook fan page. I was adding some new content for our fans when I decided to use the ‘Highlight’ feature to showcase one of our popular posts. As soon as I hit the little star, something happened that almost made my heart stop (it probably did for a brief second!)…
ALL OF THE CONTENT ON MY FACEBOOK FAN PAGE FOR THE COMPANY DISAPPEARED!
Gone. Missing. Invisible. POOF!!!
I hit refresh like a mad man. I logged out and back in again. I prayed. I had a drink, came back and still not there! At this point panic, anger and confusion set in. Months of great curated content, gone. Months of effort and thought, gone. Months of engagement, comments and interactions with my tribe, GONE. (and I’m new to this…..about 8 months for that page. Imagine people who’ve had pages since the beginning!)
I searched Google for an answer and was slightly comforted by the fact that I wasn’t the only who’s had the problem. That was until I realized that there wasn’t a fix. It may or may not come back on its own. WTF?
I then turned to Facebook. Of course they would offer support for something like this right? After having to dig through several pages, I found a place where I could “report a bug”. I filled it out, attached a screen shot, and hit submit. Within seconds, I had a response from Facebook. Here it is:
Thank you for submitting this bug report and the taking time to help us improve Facebook. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to every bug report individually, but we are reading them.
For more information about issues currently affecting the site, please visit the Facebook Known Issues Page at https://www.facebook.com/KnownIssues. We appreciate your patience and feedback as we work to improve your Facebook experience.
The Facebook Team
That’s it? Does that mean it will be fixed?
I’m sure you’ll agree that the auto response was not very encouraging and doesn’t really instill confidence.
Luckily, my page magically came back several hours later. A huge relief to say the least.
This experience has made me re-think about how I will curate content going forward. My plan from here on out will be to start using my own website to curate content and use Facebook as a tool to send people back to my site. Why invest in building on a platform that isn’t mine and I don’t control? Or for that matter, a platform that doesn’t provide adequate support for business owners and entrepreneurs?
Not that Facebook is going anywhere anytime soon, but could it be like myspace one day?
What do you guys think about about this issue? Will your Facebook strategy change after hearing about my experience? I would love to hear your comments below.
Finally, I think I would do our small business community a disservice by not trying to address this with Facebook directly. So here is an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg and the business development team at Facebook:
An Open Letter To Mark Zuckerberg from an Entrepreneur:
I’ll start by saying that I am a big fan of your success as an entrepreneur, determination, and the platform you have built.
But you just freaked me out this past weekend. Not in a good way. My Facebook Fan Page for my business disappeared for quite some time before magically reappearing. Months of work, gone. A key link to my fans and tribe, gone. What’s worse, is that the support for a catastrophic issue like this was non-existent from Facebook, other than a canned response that didn’t actually say whether my page would be fixed or not.
As a representative of the small business community and entrepreneurs from all over the word, I need to tell you that we count on you to help us with our businesses. Your platform has become an indispensable tool for us. Because of that, you need to take businesses seriously, beyond trying to sell us ads. You need a serious business tool.
Here’s what I mean:
I have been using Google Apps For Your Domain since day one. When they offered this business tool, I switched over. Yes, they have free Gmail for the masses, but I paid for the premium service because of the added benefit for businesses. In all of the years that I have been using their service, I have had 2 issues that they fixed promptly and professionally. They sent me a ticket number, I had a customer service rep, and a solution. I felt they understood and cared about my issue.
Compare that to my recent interaction with your company.
I urge you to take a page from their book and offer a premium business service that offers REAL support to business owners. I gladly pay google $50 per year per user for an enhanced business experience. I would gladly pay you for the same. As a matter of fact, I will be your first customer in line.
Please don’t underestimate the importance of small businesses. You were there at one point too.
The Great Business Project