The popularity of Facebook is reverberating through the entire web ecosystem and changing interaction and the way we communicate online.
There are many consumer brands andmusical superstars that measure their fan numbers on Facebook in the tens of millions. This rapid increase has only happened in the last 2 years and for some Facebook pages that phenomenal growth can be measured in months. Here are some headline numbers.
Coca Cola – 22 million Facebook fans
Starbucks – 19 million plus fans
Oreo – 8 million Facebook fans
While Facebook is becoming the biggest relationship marketing tool for brands, it seems like that instead of increasing traffic to the company website, Facebook is actually absorbing it. Marketers across the globe are wondering whether their brand websites will disappear and if there will still be a need for an official website in five years. Will the users still visit the company websites or will they only use Facebook and apps to check the news and offers?
Website Traffic Is Down By More than 70%
Some of the reductions in website traffic are significant.
Coca Cola’s website traffic is down more than 40% in just 12 months
Starbucks traffic is stable but not growing
Nabisco’s traffic on NabiscoWorld.com has decreased from 1.2 million hits per month to only 321,000 hits per month ( a drop of nearly 74%) in just one year
A study by Webtrends revealed that static or declining website traffic is not isolated to the three brands that I have mentioned but the majority of the the Fortune 100 websites (68% in fact) have been experiencing negative growth over the past 12 months with a 24% average decrease in unique visitors.
Should My Company Just Have A Facebook “Page”?
So the question “should my company just have a Facebook page” ” is starting to be asked.
The issue is that if you take the Facebook only route you don’t own it you are just on their platform under their rules and conditions. With a website or a blog you “own” the domain and you have control and it is essential that it remains your companies online “home base” and you treat your social media channels as embassies or outposts where you can engage and drive traffic where your customers are hanging out.
The question we should be asking is “how much focus and what resources should I apply to my company website and my Facebook page?” rather than.. ”should I replace my website with a Facebook page?”
I think in the excitement of the Facebook marketing hype that companies have forgotten to continue to integrate and optimize their digital online assets whether that be Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blog, Flickr, YouTube and including their search engine optimized website.
Integrate Your Online Properties
So what are some ideas and initial steps to integrate your digital assets so that the appropriate digital channels continue to grow and receives traffic that is engaged and optimal?
Start using Facebook to drive traffic to the official website by providing obvious links on Facebook tabs and info pages
Use Facebook to drive traffic to the company blog(s) by offering an excerpt of the first paragraph with a link to the article in Facebook update
Provide links to your other online properties on Facebook such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and LinkedIn
Capture emails on Facebook when fans come to the landing page
Create a Facebook competition which requires finding information on your website or blog, announce you will publish the competition winners on your official website
Tell your fans about a special offer they can download from the website.
Offer specials on your Facebook store that take them to your own eCommerce store
Think of your website as your core destination for developing a social business.
Facebook is a great channel to engage with your fans and drive traffic to your official websites and blog but don’t get caught up in the hype and ignore your other online properties but continue to integrate and optimize all your digital assets and the synergy will surprise you.