We all know that Facebook is fun, and a great tool, but should you use it exclusively for your startup's business website and marketing plan? In most cases, new businesses that use a Facebook page as their primary online presence are potentially setting themselves up for disillusionment – or worse.
Think about this: With a website or a blog you own the domain and content, you have creative control – after all, it’s your companies’ online hub. Your social media channels can compliment your website by engaging prospects and driving traffic to your websites’ home base.
Here are some points to think about if your business is using Facebook exclusively for your Marketing Plan:
- Not everyone uses social media. With a properly optimized business website all prospects can find you, whether they use social media or not.
- Competitors’ advertising – this is a BIGGIE: As you might have noticed, Facebook has more and more advertising. Those ads compete with your own short-lived posts and messages for your visitors’ attention. Your website will always compete with other websites for visitors, but on Facebook you’re competing within the same space.
- You’re relying on a third-party – you don’t own your page. With all Facebook’s changes in recent years, many businesses have either lost content and/or formatting, or have had to start all over. If Facebook goes down or deactivates your page, you would have no web presence at all. When you create content and information on your own website you maintain reliable, creative control. No hand slapping!
- Limits creativity. With your own website you can create a great user experience that you completely control. You can add a blog, develop an email list, engage visitors, and start building your customer base. Facebook pages are limited to promoting your website and building visitors and brand awareness.
It takes a LOT of time with few rewards. Setting up a Facebook page does not mean people will automatically follow you, and when they do, are they really quality leads? Maintaining an engaging Facebook page takes time, resources, and energy. Only 30% of your posts are appear in the newsfeed of the people who like your Facebook page. In order to get more views, you have to use Facebook’s “boosted posts”.
Likes, Pins, and Tweets – oh my?
According to a consumer online buying behavior study from Incyte Group/Get Satisfaction:
“… real value for your brand doesn’t come through Likes, Pins or Tweets. It comes down to engaging customers to create lasting relationships built on relevant information, which can only be accomplished via a branded customer community on a company website. When customers look to part with their hard earned cash, they want to do so with brands they know and trust, not companies that repeatedly spam them on Facebook or Twitter.”
The study found that:
- In spite of $3 million+ spent by U.S. marketers on Facebook pages, consumers still prefer company websites, visit company websites more than company brand pages, and would prefer to learn about companies from friends, not ads.
- 70% of visitors to social networking sites are there for social reasons. Only 12% go to interact with brands.
- Consumers nearing the end of their buying cycle – those looking for info to make a buying decision – overwhelming look to brand websites. (89% vs. 21% who choose social networks.) Similar findings were reported for consumers in earlier phases of their buying process.
Who’s Your Marketing Plans' Designated Driver?
A company’s website is the preferred place to research products and find information that leads to purchasing decisions. If you don’t have a website for your business, think hard about contacting a professional web designer and get one going soon!
DO use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to perk interest, gain followers, and drive extra traffic to your company website. It’s a much better long term strategy and will help you grow your new business.
This post is from Stacy Layman, Director, Internet Marketing and Creative Services at Bright Green Path Web Solutions, a North Florida based Web Solutions company. Stacy specializes in web design, eCommerce, SEO, and Internet Marketing. She is passionate about combining creativity with technology to help women-owned businesses grow. Feel free to reachout to her at [email protected] , @brightgreenpath on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn. This post was originally posted by Stacy at brightgreenpath.wordpress.com .