Do businesses need Facebook?

Really – In Hoboken, do businesses need Facebook? Why?

Last week, we talked about how fraud is rampant in Facebook – and that any local Hoboken businesses should simply opt-out of the social media marketing frenzy – and focus on what their core models are. However, why do businesses need Facebook at all??

Doing fine without Facebook in Hoboken

Let’s take a look at these two long-time local convenience stores – Town Smoke at 11th & Washington and Hoboken Daily News at 4th & Washington. They have zero online presence, yet their businesses collectively are doing just fine. Sure, they’re somewhat dependent on the economy in general (like most businesses), but they still have steady streams of customers on a daily basis. How can they survive without Facebook?

Hoboken stores thrive without Facebook or social media

Living and dying by Facebook?

Then you have these ladies clothing stores like Iconic Fashion Lounge and Dear Hannah – who are (or were) neck-deep in social media. One of the two has closed up shop. How did social media help them?

What makes places like clothing stores “need” to be “social” while others don’t?

What did businesses do before social media? Why did the technology all of a sudden “make it” imperative to “join in?” If you have a good shop with good products and service – your true word of mouth should be enough. Let your customers do the (actual) talking for you.

What if a local ladies clothing store opened up with no social media presence? Would they also be doomed from the get-go?

Are social media customers ones you want? Or has technology created a “Groupon” culture that only buys things when they’re ridiculously cheap?

Ladies clothing stores doomed in Hoboken NJ

Once you start – is it impossible to stop?

Here’s another theory I have. Some businesses have found very small “successes” on Facebook – by engaging their customers with occasional promotions, discounts, etc. I suppose it’s not much different than running a coupon somewhere else from time to time. But I feel that once you’ve “earned” a customer in that hell called Facebook – you’ll lose them forever if you stop with your promotions. Because like I said before – some people are just incapable of shopping without the “poke” from the social dungeon they’ve committed themselves to (and are unknowingly controlled by.)

So what if a bar, restaurant, or retailer who spent a few years building a couple thousand “likes,” decided to either stop updating – or even deleted their account? Would they suffer? And what would the upsides be beyond less time & energy wasted trying to chase the holy grail of mish-mosh marketing on Facebook?

But in all seriousness – the social media trend (and technology & communications in general) has exploded with such ferocity – that how many people have honestly taken a few steps back to acknowledge what the hell it all really means in the long run? Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, or hyper-analyzing all the (most likely useless) statistics – just getting back to wholesome basics that used to be the foundation of every business in town.

The whole thing just feels… hollow… doesn’t it?

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Young people talk through social networking. They don’t have much to spend, but talk is cheap. Sadly, all that matters is perception.