IPM must grow alongside the Internet and all its offerings. So while searching for new and innovative approaches to the management of Internet properties, I stumbled upon the interesting question in an Adweek Social Times Article titled, “Can a Facebook page Replace a Small Business Website?” As a business owner, you might not be able to answer that question with certainty. The concept is intriguing so lets dive deeper.
Facebook has some serious clout. It’s recognizable and practically everyone has one. In fact, there are currently 40 million active small business pages and almost 1.2 billion active users (ok so not everyone has one). Being part of that network not only gives your brand access to a massive network of consumers, but also gives you the ability to engage your customers in a way not possible in other channels. Where in many channels the communication is one sided (coming from your brand hoping someone is out there listening), a Facebook audience can communicate back to you. However, as the old adage goes, “the right way is the way that works,” and it takes time and effort to engage with your audience and make it really work. If your audience begins to lose interest, your posts can easily start being dropped from timelines.
Having an online presence for your business is imperative in the todays world. The first thing someone does when they hear about the latest and greatest thing is look it up online. If it’s nowhere to be found online, does it really exist? Yes it’s true, one can find Facebook pages through a Google or Bing search, but with a dedicated website, keywords and phrases can be more easily manipulated in order to optimize position in searches and legitimize your brand.
Continuing along the lines of manipulation, a dedicated website offers more control of your brand than what Facebook offers. A Facebook page can feature your logo and a unique cover photo, but that’s as far as it goes. A Facebook page is still a Facebook page; there is strong uniformity (because Facebook itself is a brand). In order to have complete control of your brand’s look and feel and the message you deliver to your audience, more is needed than what Facebook can provide.
Lastly we come to marketing. How does one market a Facebook? Well, that’s ventures us into a world where the service is no longer free. In order to drive more traffic to your Facebook, you’ll need to pay for boosted posts or ads. Facebook is also limited when it comes to cross channel sharing. Your page and your posts can only be shared in the Facebook network. There are practically innumerable avenues to market a brand. Facebook is definitely one of them, but only a dedicated website can offer the type of cross platform sharing amongst the big social media players that are necessary in todays world.
With all this being said, Facebook should be looked at for what it is – great tool. It really isn’t enough to stand on it’s own as your sole web presence, just as a website doesn’t stand on its own. Your brand needs to evolve with the market, and your website needs to grow as well. It needs to be marketed appropriately, across multiple channels. New channels, tools, and trends spring up everyday, and it can be intimidating. IPM exists to bridge that gap between your business and the intimidating, ever-evolving world in which your Internet property resides so you don’t have to.
Based in Rochester, New York, Netsville is an Internet Property Management company specializing in managing the Digital Marketing, Technical, and Business Solutions for our customers since 1994. For more information, please click here.