I was just reading an article on CNet referencing how the commercial director of Facebook in the U.K. believes Facebook may soon replace company websites. Wait…what? I get that Facebook is a really popular medium that allows you to promote services and even communicate directly with your customers…but replace your website with a Facebook page? This would be a horrible idea for any business!
Statistics used to “prove” his point were that companies such as Starbucks, Coca-cola and Oreo received more “likes” than website visits. Comparing a Facebook “like” to website traffic is ridiculous. A “like” on Facebook is simply a vote of confidence in the brand. Much like a 5-star review on Yelp is a vote of confidence in a brand.
The brand itself established that confidence. Why Facebook believes it directly contributed to, and is responsible for its users liking a brand, so much so they are willing to make the assertion that all a business needs is a Facebook page is beyond me. The bottom line is that Facebook is one of many, many tools used to promote your business and build your presence online.
These statistics are however, an excellent argument to show why participating in Social Media channels is important to any business…but to jump to the conclusion that businesses no longer need their own web presence outside from what Facebook offers is a pretty big leap. What’s worse is that small businesses (who likely have a hard time figuring out how to create a website let alone invest in one) might read this, and with lack of knowledge simply stick with a Facebook page.
In addition to just being horrible advice for small businesses…I think those larger brands such as Coca-Cola would want a website to showcase their products and videos as well as their “My Coke Rewards” program. It is easy to take data like this, based on “likes” these big brands received vs visits, when brands like the ones mentioned are already well known. You don’t have to use a search engine and research “coffee shops” to figure out who Starbucks is…but you might need to use a search engine to find out who your local mom and pop coffee shops are. Unless you are already a known brand – good luck getting found online by your potential customers without a website.
At any rate, no company should ever considering limiting their exposure to one platform such as Facebook. It’s always best to not put all your eggs in one basket. Having a website as well as participating in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, helps build a stronger online presence.
I’ll end my rant now, but the shortsightedness of some people truly does amaze me at times.