A school recently approached me and asked my advice about whether it should be on Facebook, as the governing body was looking at ways to improve its communication with parents and the local community.

I said “no”.

It’s not because Facebook isn’t a fantastic communication platform. It is. And there are plenty of schools who do use it very successfully. But this school couldn’t answer some basic questions, such as “what information would you post on it?”, “what would users get from it?”, “who would manage it?”, etc.

Until they can come up with a clear plan, then there’s no point doing it.

To help them, I showed them an example of a small business that is using Facebook very successfully and, most importantly of all, is delivering on its key marketing objective – which in this case is generating new business enquiries directly leading to online sales.

The Facebook page in question is run by James, who has his own window blinds business.

The reason why James’s Facebook page is such a success is that it is the cornerstone of his business. He:

  • introduces it into conversations with customers from the outset
  • posts exclusive Facebook offers that customers can only redeem if they like the page
  • posts lots of pictures of his work
  • gets customers to share posts

But, most of all, he’s excited about it. And it reflects the personality of his business, which, by the way, is very infectious and naturally draws people to his Facebook page.

Once the school saw how James runs his Facebook page, they could see why I suggested that the governors should have a clear vision and clarity about the day-to-day running of it before deciding whether or not to be on Facebook.

To quote the phrase, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”