Danger awaits small businesses who depend on Facebook

Moray businesses are being warned to take particular care when using Social Media as part of their strategy as they could easily lose vital data.

The warning comes from Elgin firm Bloom Flowers, who specialise in preparing wedding flowers for prospective brides throughout Moray and beyond.

With a burgeoning online customer list the small businesses relies heavily on its presence on Social Media site Facebook – however, this week they received a warning from administrators for the site that currently boasts over 1.23billion users world wide.

Owner of the small business is Samantha Hill, who told insideMoray: “I was contacted by Facebook who told me that my page on their network was a ‘profile’ page and that it had to be converted to a ‘business’ page.

“I was told that by using a profile page I was actually in breach of their terms and conditions and the page could be taken down.

“I had to just hold my hands up and admit that I had not read their terms and conditions when setting up the Facebook page. I think I did what most people do and just ticked the box without reading all the small print.”

[box type=”info”] How to change the category of your Facebook page

1. Click Settings at the top of your Page

2. Click Page Info in the left column

3. Click Category

4. Select a category from the first dropdown menu, then select a more specific category from the second dropdown menu.

5. Click Save Changes [/box] With a large number of business contacts using the Facebook page the news spelled potential disaster for Samantha as the social media presence for the company had been successful in attracting customers.

“The problem I now have is that while Facebook have allowed me to download much of my data such as photographs, messages and videos, I have still lost around 40% of my contacts,” Samantha said.

She added: “Some of these are brides who are expecting wedding flowers – and I have to wait at least a week to receive this data.”

Like many small businesses in Moray, social networking has become a key component in building a customer database from scratch – and Samantha is now warning any business with a similar profile to beware of the pitfalls they might face.

She said: “We rely on Facebook for advertising and making contacts but this issue has forced me to rethink my entire business strategy given the expense of web designs, Google Ads and similar online tools.

“I know that I’m not the only person this has happened to over the past 24 hours which I believe is the result of Facebook changing their settings again.

“For us the main thing is to get the message out to our existing and new customers that we are still on Facebook although we have now ‘moved’ to www.facebook.com/fullbloomflowers2012


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