A small business perspective.
About 8 years ago I caught my UVA niece checking her Facebook page. “What’s Facebook?” I asked.
“It’s kind of like MySpace, but geared toward College. It helps you connect with people,” she said (in my loose memory of the conversation).
Shortly thereafter, I started an account. I remember it was laborious for me to figure out how to add a profile picture. And later when I figured out I should have my maiden name on my profile so people who knew me then could find me. I remember countless times it connected me to people I thought were lost forever to me.
Years later I can name only a very small handful of people I know that do not have a Facebook account. My husband, one of my best friends, and a friend who had a page then and realized it wasn’t for her.
A new way to “catch up.”
Ahhh, Facebook. In this very busy life, it fills in the gaps. When I see my friend that served on the PTA committee with me 3 years ago at the grocery, we don’t have to ‘catch up.’ We hit the ground running. I know her oldest won an ROTC award. She knows I just got back from a week at the beach and that my son is homesick at camp. It keeps us informed in an era that is so busy it’s tough to pick up the phone or meet to catch up.
Technology. The blessing and the curse.
Things got so uncomfortable between a relative and me a few months ago that I looked into closing my Facebook account…and that was even after she’d ‘unfriended’ me. Well, I can’t have a business page without a personal page–if I suspend one, the other has to go as well.
In my experience, and I think the vast majority will agree, Facebook is a critical resource to the small business owner. Shutting down the “Cookie Text…an edible tweet” page would kink the lifeline to my customers.
I care about my customers. I like them.
Quite a bit, honestly. The go-to way for them to be engaged with Cookie Text (and me) is via Facebook. When someone posts a picture of their loved-one with their CookieText® or I post the picture I took before a cookie cake went out and they comment that it was a hit…well that’s priceless to me. I love people. I love back stories. Then when someone posts that their son demanded a CookieText® for his party it fuels me to keep on keeping on.
I thrive on feedback, and that comes from people, not the bank account…we can all google the same statistics that tell us it sure isn’t money that will keep the small business owner going the first few years. Feedback from the customer is priceless, and Facebook is the hotline to that.
- the cord to my customers, yet it chains me to difficult relationships.
- the most valuable time I spend growing my business, yet the biggest time waster as I get distracted and watch countless inane links to videos of cute kids and puppies, or ‘just glance at the home page for a second.”
- the social media that my generation is fully engaged in, yet my children have already abandoned.
- the very reliable bond to many friends that I truly love and care about, yet…sometimes overwhelming.
Facebook. You are the best of times, you are the worst of times. In the ways when you are good, you are very good. In the ways when you are bad…you are quicksand.