#82 : Facebook for Private Investigation Businesses – Tech Tuesday #44

Facebook for Private Investigators

Many investigators get caught up with social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc..) and can spend more time worrying about their time on those platforms rather than other things that can be more beneficial to their business.  I fell into this trap when I first started my business and lost a lot of time that could have been better served doing something else that was more productive.

Do Customers Care About Your Business Facebook Page?          

The short answer to this question I believe is “no” (in a general sense).  Generally speaking you might receive a “like” for your Facebook page in support but most investigation companies don’t really interact with those who follow them on Facebook.

I personally follow a few investigation companies on Facebook to show support for the business and because if they post any news I want to hear about it. I am not the norm and if you are reading this you are not likely the norm either.

The one worry that owners have about their Facebook page is the amount of likes as this can add social clout and add a tiny bit to their legitimacy.  If you are worried about this then you can easily run a few Facebook adds and you will have Facebook followers in a short amount of time.  If you have plenty of friends to follow your business page then that would be a better way to go and save yourself a few bucks.

Does a Facebook page for an investigation company influence a customer’s decision about choosing you?

From my experience I don’t think it has much influence.  If it did you would see many investigation companies spending a significant amount of time on Facebook.  But some of the biggest investigation companies don’t spend any time on there at all.  Most typically got involved with Facebook just about the same time every other company started doing it as well because they didn’t want to miss out on anything.

Not Everyone That has a Private Investigation Business will have a Facebook page

It’s true, many old school private investigators don’t have a Facebook page.  They can’t even wrap their head around social media with Facebook and Twitter.  And to be quite frank, they don’t need it because they were doing just fine before Facebook started and it hasn’t hurt their business yet.  And these old school investigators are a bit intimidated by technology so this also detours them from using it.

Facebook for Private InvestigatorsSome Still Don’t Understand Social Media

I remember being at a P.I. conference a couple of years ago.  One of the last speakers were a couple of entertaining guys from Oregon.  They spoke about etiquette on Facebook and other social media platforms.  They tried to explain how to act and what worked in that medium.

At the very end of it a very established business owner in the security and private investigation field rose his hand and asked if this type of advertising was a sure thing because he had been burned before.

I laughed inside because the man had listened to the two men talk for at least 30 minutes and all he thought was that they were talking about something to do with advertising and that they were selling it.

Now not to take anything away from the confused man because if I had to guess he was probably a millionaire or close to it as he had done very well in the security industry as a business owner.

So How Are Businesses Using Social Media?

They aren’t selling anything.  Does that surprise you?  Investigation companies are doing many things but they aren’t shoving their company down their Facebook follower’s throats.  Below is how many companies are using Facebook.

New Services

Some companies are sharing whenever they have a new service available.  One company recently shared how they had begun a service that detected for bugging and added GPS tracking services.  As their company has grown so have their services. What better way to share the new services that are added to a business.  Sharing how your company is adding new services is a very tasteful way of sharing something with followers of your business Facebook  page.

Share Blogging Articles

If you have a blog on your business website then what better place to share your blog than on your Facebook page?  I think it adds authority to an investigator’s knowledge and it also gets your followers to visit your website and keeps you in the minds of potential customers (if those are the ones following you)

Sharing interesting articles in the investigation industry

If you don’t have a blog then you can share other interesting articles in the industry for Facebook followers.   Again, if potential customers are following your Facebook feed, posting every now and then and sharing an interesting article will keep you fresh in their minds.

Sharing what is happening within the company

Some companies have a newsletter and some companies use Facebook to share when someone new comes to the company, reorganizations within the company, promotions within the company and even company acquisitions.

We’re in the News

If a private investigator, the company or even the owner of a business is in the news (in a positive light) many share this with their followers.  If you want to build clout in the industry then sharing that you have been highlighted in the news is a great way to do that.

Promotions (but not hard selling)

If you have a limited promotion it might not hurt to put it on the Facebook page.  Don’t over sell it and harp on your followers.  Be informative without being pushy and will be ok.

Some Don’t Have A Facebook Page

I checked the top 7 business listings for “Tacoma Private Investigator”.  Not one of the websites promoted a Facebook page on their websites.  Given, most of the websites were old school sites that appear that they haven’t been updated in some time.   Some don’t find that it adds to their business so they don’t feel they need it.

Below are some private investigator Facebook pages that do some of the things that I have explained and are active on their page.

You may find Facebook more beneficial than I have found it to be. I believe you probably won’t find it to be a huge impact to your company as a channel for selling.  Though it gives a good opportunity for others to get to know and trust your company.  If you haven’t heard me rant about it on the podcast I will say it again on here.  Trust is everything in business and even more important in the investigation industry.

 

 

2 comments

  1. While I do agree with you that social media does not help most private investigators, I do believe that Social Media can help private investigators when it’s used the right way. Most investigators think they understand Social Media, but they don’t understand the marketing behind social media.

    Social media is more than just sharing articles and hoping for the best at the end of the day. It’s the same thing as writing a book. You can’t expect to get a book published without seeking out a publisher and really promoting your book services. Everyone can write a book, but if you want to actually get the book published, you have to go out and do it the right way. Otherwise, every author is going to say “oh, I tried writing. I wrote a lot of articles, but no one ever paid me for it. I guess there is no money in book writing.” Private Investigators have the same belief. “I tried sharing a few articles for a couple of weeks, but I gave up when no work came from it”. Yet, some private investigators are actually selling a lot of services through social media practices. Look at G4S as an example.

    Most investigators share status updates like – “I’m a private investigator in XYZ City, call today for your investigator needs” – THAT kind of status update will never, and has never, attracted any type of client. Why? because it doesn’t offer any value. Your pages have to, have to, HAVE TO offer value.

    Not to mention the fact that I’m not going to like a private investigator’s business page that will “rat” me out to my spouse. If I suspect my spouse is cheating on me, why on Earth would I want to like a private investigator’s page?

    You can, however, use your business page to offer advice and tips to people in your area. Let’s use Dallas, TX as an example. if you share crime stories, safety articles, and other current media articles that are happening in your immediate area, people will like your page – not because you’re a private investigator, but because you offer helpful advice. You can also offer tips, tricks of the trade, information about stories, add insight into current events, etc. A client will say “Wow, if he offers that for free, what will he offer to me if I pay him?”

    With that in mind, you can also comment on other company pages as your company page and offer actual advice. Take advantage of other people’s posts. Take, for example, a local News Company that is sharing a story about a Missing Person. You can comment on their as your business with a comment that offers actual advice. For example:

    “In my experience, I have found that most missing persons often times leave clues in XYZ locations and visit XYZ friends. In my XX yeas of experience, I have yet to handle a missing person’s investigation that did not leave any type of clue behind”

    Guess who’s going to be reading that comment? – More than likely someone that knows the family of the missing person. At the same time, you may get an invitation from the news channel to offer “advice” which can turn into free air time and publicity.

    However, if you simply share and comment on people’s statuses with “I hope they find him – Here is my website” <— that type of comment will NEVER add any type of value into a conversation.

    There is a right way and a wrong way to use social media and attract potential clients, but the right way doesn't happen over night. And remember, it's called "Social Media" not "Social Business Sales".

    Just my 2 cents on Social Media for Private Investigators. Outside of that, you hit the mark on a lot of these.

    • Thanks for your input Ruben. I probably should have picked your brain a bit before writing this. Now I don’t have to because you left a monster commment:) Thanks Ruben!

      Andrew

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