Facebook – Good or Bad for Small Business?

Facebook and small business good or bad?




Over time, Facebook has a detailed profile on your customer.

All those interactions were captured and likely sold to one or more third parties. Over time, Facebook has a detailed profile on your customer.

In fact, by now individuals have probably been on Facebook for years and there is a massive database of personal actions, tags, messages (to and from), etc. has been created and continues to grow.

For a number of years, Facebook allowed certain applications to have access to your mailbox where it could get, along with other data, your posts and messages. Thus, because of personal usage including posts, likes, follows, interests, links to family and friends, etc., there is a lot of information that can be gleaned about behaviors, motivations, politics, relationships, predilections, and travel patterns.

This data does not sit idle. 

Facebook makes its revenue from advertising so it sells all this data in many forms. Ad buyers use it to target the right personalized ads to individual Facebook members that meet defined criteria. Facebook will recognize that your prospective widget buyer went to acquire a widget but did not buy one.

That person will be targeted with ads (from one or more of your competitors) that offer the same item, related items that are usually purchased along with the initial purchase target, or competitive products. And the individual may click on the ad and buy the widget. Another sale lost, and to make matters worse, your customer may find her experience with your competitor better than yours and take all her business elsewhere. Another loyal customer lost and you did not even know it.

Facebook will gladly sell its data to your firm as well. Are you buying it? Or are you mining your own site for activities and lost opportunities? If you are not pursuing your Web site hits, then the likelihood is that you are losing business to others. 


Small business owners need to view all their companies' social actions as a two-way street and mine the data to which they have access. Small business owners can be assured competitors are watching and targeting prospects that visit your site. All business owners need to fight back or be prepared to have their lunch eaten. 

Related articles:

The Price of Privacy

The True Value of Data

Critical Business Data- Measuring What You Manage


About the author

Cal Braunstein

Mr. Braunstein serves as Chairman/CEO and Executive Director of Research at the Robert Frances Group (RFG). In addition to his corporate role, he helps his clients wrestle with a range of business, management, regulatory, and technology issues. 
He has deep and broad experience in business strategy management, business process management, enterprise systems architecture, financing, mission-critical systems, project and portfolio management, procurement, risk management, sustainability, and vendor management. Cal also chaired a Business Operational Risk Council whose membership consisted of a number of top global financial institutions.