FaceBook LESS Effective for Business than Ryze

We used to love Ryze, before it fell. Now it is not trafficked enough to be worth spending time there. But it sure did work. We got probably 2/3 of our business from relationships on Ryze. Because they were all business, and predominantly startups and WAHMs. A high concentration of a very effective target market.

FaceBook has been much less successful. It takes more work to get fewer responses. Because it is a mix, it is like shouting to the whole world, instead of being able to talk quietly to people who are interested.

There are those who may disagree with me, but you really can’t just establish a presence on FaceBook and be yourself, and get business from it. You could do that on Ryze.

On FB, you have to plan and work very hard at targeting, and attracting people, and then the majority of them are not interested in business relationships. It is a very scattered approach to promotion, and you can only narrow it so far by using Pages or other features, because FB was not intended as a marketing venue to begin with.

I’m not suggesting that FB is not worth the effort. I think it is. But the return rates for my time are far lower than they were on Ryze. Perhaps 10% or less.

Sadly, Ryze is a dead duck, and there is nothing out there that comes close to replacing it. It worked for a number of reasons, and while many Ning sites have tried to duplicate the function, they have yet to provide anything that is convenient to use and effective. Instead, they require a good deal of inconvenience to use them. One reason Ning groups hang around the fringes of social networking, but rarely become anything more than fringe sites.

The small business, WAHM, Startup, and side business market is not being effectively served online at this point. It is a huge niche, waiting to be plumbed. Ryze had it, then lost it, and most of them are still fumbling around trying to make other systems work, without the ability to use a system tailored to their needs.

So we keep working at FaceBook. And we keep missing the effectiveness of Ryze.

Update, 2013: A few people I knew from Ryze have “gone back”. But they seem to do so out of stubborn nostalgia, rather than any amount of effectiveness. Ryze is still dead, except for a few thriving groups that seem to serve networkers from Asia.

4 Responses to FaceBook LESS Effective for Business than Ryze

  • Laura, one thing I have learned is that embracing technology for technology’s sake is the bane of many businesses.

    Because of the herding mentality, people rush to try out a new system without considering whether it is beneficial. Waiting with open arms are the purveyors of the system (of course), as well as the fringe element that thrives on exploiting those who can’t or won’t think for themselves.

    All three parties: provider, consumer and parasite perform an awkward dance on an uneven floor. Inevitably, the consumer ends up with inconsistent information about the efficacy of the system.

    Sadly, into this mix comes a fourth entity. The rare individual who is not a parasite, but has managed to carve out a successful niche within the system. Because it is rare for everyone to be privy to the business records of such people, consumers take the reported success at face value and lament their own lack of same.

    If we are to succeed on the web, I think we need to go back to basics: personal networks and referrals. Leave the tribulations of the untried and the untested to the herd.



  • Laura says:

    Sadly, this still leaves us without the efficacy of Ryze, and struggling to make second-rate solutions like FaceBook actually work.

    Nothing else out there comes close.

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  • Ryze worked because of the relationships built, the williness to help each other build their business.

    Thing about facebook, although it does have great value, is that it is a mix, not all business. More reconnecting with people from the past, updating friends, and then those who have time to play Farmville and various games all day.

    If your target market isn’t business owners, Facebook works a little better.

    Ning I’ve never spent much time there. Ryze is still there, but traffic way down, not as many new people to meet.

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