5 Solid Reasons Why Facebook Does Not Matter More Than Your Company Website.

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If you are a small business and are being counseled by your web developer, your marketing or PR agency to ignore building a website and to put your investment into a Facebook page, you are getting the wrong advice.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: sepp0



Here are 5 solid reasons why a website is the right initial investment:

1. Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter and all the rest are being stormed upon by marketers who use the 500 million users as an excuse to convince their clients that there is potential for increasing brand awareness and pushing out content to these poor unsuspecting potential customers. What should be happening is that companies should be spending their time listening to the pitter patter on the sites and trying to understand what the customers want as opposed to trying to push more stuff out at them.

2. Yes it is fairly simple to build a Facebook page but your website is the equivalent of the reception room in your company headquarters or the storefront of your retail business. Would you build a great billboard to bring clients to your uncompleted or as yet not started storefront. Yes people will notice your Facebook page like they’ll notice the billboard and you’ll possibly get great online visibility. They’ll still want to visit your website to validate your existence and you’ll be non-existent.



3. Facebook does give you an opportunity to listen to your audience and understand what is driving them. Build your website first, then go on Facebook and learn to listen to what your potential customers are saying. This gives you another opportunity to further analyze and understand who your favorite customer is and you can use this information not only to enhance your marketing message but in the process, you’ll also improve the look and feel of your existing website.

4. Facebook is cluttered with look-e-loos who are buying nothing. They are individuals who are simply socializing with their family members or peers. Don’t get carried away by the 500 million number of users. Quality and not quantity should be the driving force here.

5. To suggest that company websites will soon be inside Facebook is to suggest that you give the everyday operation of your business to someone you don’t know, you haven’t vetted and someone who has no accountability. Also, some of the biggest web companies have disappeared or faded into the woodwork. This can happen to Facebook. If Facebook craters or they decide to change their model, what will happen to your website. Don’t forget when Google changed their algorithm what happened to the page rank of thousands of websites and the negative impact it had on revenue generation for all those owners.< /p>



Build your website and make it the foundation or home base of your web thrust. Then use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and all the rest of them as outposts to spread your reach outwards. A good read on this topic is Why Your Website is More Valuable Than Facebook.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t agree with your advice.

    It depends exactly on the type of business but I would say generally for “small business”, which is your specified audience, that they should be placing most of their eCommerce and digital engagement effort into thinking about how to use FB, and less into their own website.

    Whereas before it was 100% thinking about their own site, it should now be 20% about their own site and 80% about FB. The real key to success is to actually put in the up-front thinking. Most small businesses won’t do this and then they can say “Oh I tried FB and it didn’t work”. But not much else will work either without some of the business planning and thinking necessary to make digital engagement a success.

    And the key is to decide, during this up-front thinking, on exactly what the ROLE of your website should be, and how that fits with Facebook. Not the other way around, in my opinion. Ask yourself what specifically is it that my website needs to do or convey that I cannot do on Facebook or think I can better do than Facebook?

    Establish that clear role, and then concentrate on how to get Facebook to do all the rest.

    Here’s the simple reason why. Facebook is a platform, your website is not.

    You might also add that Facebook is expanding in capability and connections and investment every single day, while conversely most small business websites are decaying and dying every single day from the day that they are launched.

    If you’re worried about Facebook disappearing, as well it may at some time, then consider this – you’re more likely to disappear without trace than Facebook, and you are 100% more likely to disappear without any rush of others wanting to help transfer your assets to any new system. When and if Facebook disappears then a whole new “Facebook migration” industry will appear. The end result of fretting about this kind of speculation is that you lose and your competition wins – you make the choice!

    Walter Adamson @g2m
    Certified Social Media Consultant
    http://NewLeaseG2M.com
    Melbourne, Australia
    My social spaces and places: http://xeesm.com/walter

  2. Walter:

    You are correct and we are in a different world and that is exactly why the article is targeted to those who would build a Facebook page and not worry about a website. The thrust of the post is to reinforce the idea that the company website comes first in a digital strategy and not a Facebook page.

    It all does depend on the type of company but in general, only after building a website should the company look at a combination of social media sites to see how it can best use this new medium to get its marketing message out to the targeted audience. It should not all be Facebook centered.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Jim

  3. While leveraging social networking sites like facebook is an important component of any digital marketing plan, putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Its like the mistake many development shops are making these days by creating native iPhone apps vs webapps that are formatted for the iPhone. They are leaving themselves out of over half the mobile marketplace by doing so. Your social networking marketing efforts should be like all of your digital marketing efforts with the goal being to drive traffic to your own website.

  4. Nick:

    I couldn’t have phrased it better. Your statement about all of your digital efforts should be to drive traffic to your own website hit the nail smack on the head.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Jim

  5. I agree with Jim’s position. FB is a great ADDITION to your marketing mix, but YOUR website should be primary. Yes, it’s nice to have inbound links from your FB page to your site, and it is true that users are beginning to search for companies on FB, but the key is “beginning.” It still is not the established Social Media port to find a business. And many small business users are not savvy in using FB – mixing personal with business – not using the emerging FB ability to create a “business persona.” Marketing, at its core, is about customers and targeting the right group and finding where they aggregate in the digital community – is FB that “watering hole” where your customers meet? Yes, FB users spend HOURS/day on the site, but there is NO research that they spend hours there TO BUY. Website development, with correct page tags, page descriptions, key words, content rich text in user (customer) lingo should be 80% of the small business effort: 20% should be about how best to use YouTube, FaceBook, Podcasts, SlideShare, Flickr in your marketing communications mix to stimulate discussions and to create and receive content on the Internet.

  6. Griff:

    I think you said it all in the last sentence when you gave the old 80/20 rule…. 80% website development and 20% Social Media sites.

    Thanks for the post
    Jim

  7. 80% on Facebook?? What are you smoking??

    Realizing that your income is dependent on people using FB for their business, I can see why you would disagree with the article.

    However, if you were to look back in the history of the web, you will find a company called America Online (AOL). Those of us who remember AOL at its peak, will agree that there is not much difference between what AOL was and what Facebook is right now.

    A smart business owner would play it right by making FB one part of the marketing plan, not betting the farm on it as a place to build their business.

    Unless they were in the business of selling FB marketing eBooks.

  8. but mine remains the opposite to everyone else and I firmly advise every small business to spend 20% of their time on getting their own website “right”, the key being to clearly understand its purpose in relation to the 80% of the effort you should spend elsewhere including Facebook. Maybe there is a miscommunication in that I am not talking about just having a first pass Facebook Page, but having a whole Facebook strategy. Whether it’s 20/80 on your website versus Facebook or 40/60 I think that it does matter more these days for small business.

    Walter Adamson @g2m
    Certified Social Media Consultant
    http://NewLeaseG2M.com
    Melbourne, Australia
    My social spaces and places: http://xeesm.com/walter

  9. Walter:

    I think we all agree that Facebook should be a part of an overall company strategy that is centered around a company-based web site.

    Thanks for the comments.

  10. A Facebook page without a website is like an executive using AOL or Gmail for company email. It looks unprofessional and does not have an authentic feel. Your company does not build credibility with its clientele that way. In today’s digital society, a company’s website is where it all begins. It reminds me of when I was in start-up mode and housed my company in office suites from HQ but was always afraid to invite customers there lest they find out that our great address was in a shared office space. Customers when they buy from you want authenticity. They want to know that your address is for real and not in a garage or in an shared office suite. Basing your web page in Facebook without a company website has the same effect. It just makes your company appear virtual.

  11. Mark Anthony:
    Thanks for introducing that one into the fray. That is a classic and really illustrates the point.
    Jim

  12. I find your position intriguing but I would like to know your thoughts and reasoning behind your position. The simple question of “Why do you believe reversing the historical 80/20 rule (not that I am in full agreement with this approach either) will bring more success to a small business?

    I am a small business owner wanting to understand your reasoning behind your position.

  13. I think this is a great discussion, but I do think there is a bit too much generalizing on what is appropriate for each business.

    There are over 1 million people who make primary or secondary income from eBay alone… Many of them have NO web-site.

    In a recent report from Nielsen, people spend more time on Facebook than anyother site, if I am a small business and I can capture a transaction from my facebook page shouldn’t I?

    The question for me, is what is your business? and what is your business objective. For many people it might be as simple as capturing email addresses so that I can send out coupons to drive people to a physical location to buy products/or food.

    For some people it is about lead qualification, for them to download a free trial of software. In this circumstance your web-site since in the center of your web presence.

    The key for everyone in my opinion is to think about what you are trying to accomplish from your web-presence and not just from your web-site.

    And yes, it is self serving for me for people to spend time using social networksm, but I think the above is honest 🙂

  14. Thanks, Hellena:

    I can’t find anything to disagree with in what you say. I like the analogies you bring to the fore.

    Jim

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