Is Facebook the new website?

by Susan Getgood on January 31, 2012 · 5 comments

in Facebook,Marketing

This weekend is the Super Bowl, and while I will be paying slightly more attention to the game because the Patriots are playing, my main interest is in the advertising. This year, I will be watching closely to see how many commercials drive to Facebook pages, in addition to or instead of, a website.

Because Facebook is clearly where so many brands are going these days. It reminds me a little of the “web rush” in the mid/late 90s when mainstream brands realized what many tech companies had grokked since the first browser in 1993, that the browser had changed the marketing equation for good. It was a little like a gigantic penny drop. Suddenly every brand had a website, and URLs were promoted everywhere.

Now it is Facebook. Everywhere. Marketing strategies built around Shares and Likes.

This makes me very nervous. Your marketing strategy should include Facebook. With its user base edging every upward to a billion, you would be foolish to not use the social network in your marketing plan.

BUT, your marketing strategy shouldn’t be a Facebook strategy. No matter how small or large you are, don’t put all your eggs, even just for a single promotion, into one basket.

Especially this basket, over which you have no control. All those fans you are spending so much of your budget acquiring? Your connection with them relies almost entirely on Facebook. Sure, you can sign them up for email lists and such, but the community aspect? That happens on Facebook.

And what Facebook gives, Facebook can taketh away. Not literally of course. But it can change its terms or add fees. I am not saying it will hold your brand hostage, but it could.

So, when you are integrating Facebook into your marketing strategy, think about how you can leverage its benefits while protecting your brand’s assets and consumer goodwill.

Go Patriots!

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{ 5 comments }

1 John Cass February 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Hi Susan, I think what you write makes sense, especially if your audience isn’t hanging out in Facebook.. :-)

Though it’s pretty convenient to have discussions in Facebook, or at least use the commenting system. I agree that it is good to have your own site, and to not rely on Facebook, but I also think that one of the reasons why social networks work so well is the ability to not lose the train of conversation with someone. If you can address that issue on your own site, you gain from both environments.

2 Danny Blair February 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

The point you make about Facebook charging is an interesting one. A case could easily be made for making businesses pay a small amount, but the growing threat of Google+ could be a deterrent.

3 Sherrilynne Starkie February 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I hear what you are saying about being reminded of the web rush of the mid to late 90s. But I think the tide is turning. The organizations I’m working with lately really seem to be ‘ getting’ it!

4 Net Profits Media February 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

For small business owners Facebook makes perfect sense when compared to a stand alone web site. It’s more compact and streamline versus a managing a web site and SEO and an email list.

5 Tyler Gildred March 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Facebook fan pages are becoming the new website. The fact is that Facebook timeline and apps appearing every day are making the case for a Facebook based web presence. Why would a small business owner build a website when they could now do it on Facebook themselves? I don’t think that FB has all the bells in whistles to attract everyone…yet, they have our attention. If you can’t find an app create an Iframe, which allows you to customize the pages with code. Facebook is changing the relevance of a website every day.

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