I still hear this and similar statements a lot and I always cringe just thinking
of the possible situations that can arise because of this type of thinking. If you’re an individual you have a different
set of issues than businesses. Individuals who don’t have a Facebook page should consider this- with over a half a billion users on Facebook today it’s just considered not normal for anyone to be unsearchable on the leading social medium platform. Whether you’re looking for a job, a girlfriend/boyfriend, or a bank loan, the people you’re hoping to interact with will likely “look you up” online. In a lot of cases, looking for information about you and not finding any will lead your potential connection to suspect you have something to hide and avoid you.
If you’re a business owner your list of probable issues takes up a lot more space. I’m actually pretty surprised at the number of business owners I’ve done websites for that started out saying they wanted nothing to do with Facebook. My canned response is “If you’re a business and you think you don’t have a Facebook page already you’re wrong”. The indisputable fact is that Facebook trying awful hard to be a replacement for Google search results and like Google, nobody really understands everything about how it works. The one thing we do understand is this- If you own a business, someone is going to mention you on Facebook and if you have more than a few customers, you’re going to get mentioned a lot. When you get mentioned more than once or twice Facebook will assume you are worth mentioning and create a Facebook page for you. The page that Facebook creates for you is one you have no control over and you have about as much chance as a snowball in hell to get it removed. The big problem with that page is- now there’s a basically un-moderated representation of your business online. Virtually anyone can post a picture of anything and post on any subject (good, bad, or inappropriate) and as long as your business is mentioned in the post, it almost always shows up on your un-moderated Facebook page. If you find a page like this the only recourse you have is to go through the process of claiming the page and doing a little damage control. I’ve gone through this process for clients on more than one occasion and it always feels good to get some unwanted or derogatory information removed from Facebook for them. I can’t say that all inappropriate information can be removed and there’s no way to stop it altogether even if you control you business page but it can be greatly diminished.
That being said about Facebook, the same principle holds true for nearly all of the major search engines and social media players. If you don’t create your own Google Plus page, Google will create it for you. Your business is most likely on Yelp and Foursquare as well. If you happen to own a restaurant you business will be talked about on TripAdvisor, FoodSpotting, Zomato, and UrbanSpoon. If you’re unsure about where your company’s reputation stands on social media, give me a call for a free evaluation.
Larry Bartley • 325-647-6066