Facebook Causes: Don’t Forget Main Street

March 27, 2011
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I just got off the phone with Jake Honig, in biz dev for Facebook Causes. Super nice guy. Frankly, after all the venting I did, I’m amazed he didn’t hang up on me.

I have to admit, I was frustrated. Very frustrated.

I just got off the phone with Jake Honig, in biz dev for Facebook Causes. Super nice guy. Frankly, after all the venting I did, I’m amazed he didn’t hang up on me.

I have to admit, I was frustrated. Very frustrated.

As a consultant who advises small and mid sized organizations, I was really hoping I could tout the wonders of Facebook Causes for small and mid sized businesses in their cause-related marketing efforts during my upcoming presentation at the Central Wisconsin Social Media Conference and in general when I advise SMBs.

I really took seriously Causes supposed embrace of the notion of equal-opportunity giving.

To quote from the Causes’ app description:

Because we believe there are infinite ways to positively impact our world, anyone can create a user-created advocacy group on Causes. This group, called a “cause,” is the building block for all activity on the site. We strive for equal opportunity activism, which means that causes created by nonprofits and causes created by concerned individuals share the same level-playing field.

This line in particular made me sure Facebook Causes would be the perfect tool for businesses with limited resources:

Unlike other models that favor organizations with large budgets, causes rise and fall based on how well leaders organize and keep their communities engaged and mobilized.

All of that is true. But it hides a disturbing fact:

Small and mid-sized businesses, precisely because of their smaller budgets, do not typically have anywhere close to the financial resources required (usually a minimum of $10,000) if they want to start a cause.

Jake mentioned that there are other Facebook apps out there for small business that are useful.

And that too is true.

But why should small business have to think smaller than the 100+ million users who currently use the Facebook Causes app? Why not create a turn-key solution (that would not cost a fortune for Causes developers to customize for each campaign as they do with the big brands) for small and mid-sized business to create true equal opportunity on Causes?

I really hope Causes will consider working with those of us in the small biz community who want to tap into the growing number of smaller businesses on Facebook who can and want to make a world of difference with what I believe is the best tool on the market – Facebook Causes.

The challenge is providing a solution that is profitable for Facebook Causes (which is actually a for-profit company) as well.

I believe that’s possible.  It will require some creative thinking on the part of Causes, the small business community and individuals like myself who admire their work and believe in dreaming big by acting…

….small.

Main St Vs Wall St

Photo credit: “Main Street Vs. Wall Street” by  Eric Ortner of  Ortner Graphics