Okanagan Panorama

Is Facebook Replacing Business Websites?

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Facebook Graphic

Is it or isn’t it? I don’t know.

I’ve heard rumblings lately that many small businesses are finding that it is a lot easier … and cheaper to promote on-line with a business-focussed Facebook page rather than a conventional business-focussed website.

Even the concept of “conventional website” is a bit thought provoking. How long have websites been the ‘must-have’ way to promote your business 10 … 15 years? The internet seems to have been around forever, but it hasn’t. Recently, with website content management systems such as WordPress evolving into being readily utilized by do-it-your-selfers the cost factor of setting up a business site is mitigated.

The argument seems to be that websites are expensive … Facebook is free.

If you aren’t website developer savvy, you have to rely on someone that is and that will cost you. You also have to wait for that person to accommodate you, whenever they have the time or the inclination. With Facebook, you can add what you want to, when you want to, and it won’t cost you.

One of my favorite businesses in the Kelowna market is Bonanza Meats & Deli, located on 185 Adams Road, Kelowna. My family makes a weekly pilgrimage to what we affectionately the call the ‘Mecca of Meat.” Arguably, they have the best bacon in Western Canada and with a reasonable price to go with it. I Googled their business and found that they are an example of a business that has taken the Facebook only approach to marketing their business.

Bonanza Meats & Deli has taken the approach of posting their daily specials to their Facebook timeline. While this can be a good way to promote your specials to potential customers, I have to wonder about its effectiveness?

Many local consumers search Google everyday for products and services. While Google is reported to do a good job of indexing websites, it appears to be not as good at indexing Facebook pages. While a business Facebook page may have a plethora of Likes, it doesn’t mean that these admiring fans come back to your Facebook page frequently, if ever again.

My research shows that when you promote with Facebook only, the interaction with your business and  your customer will be solely via your news stream/timeline. So the infrastructure that you build into your Facebook page with be largely unused. If customers want information about your business, they are more likely to go to your website, if you have one.

The argument against business websites inevitably raises the fact that websites tend to be static and if the site visitor sees the same material on every visit they are not likely to return. Facebook allows you to update your content whenever you like. But is that necessarily a good thing? Is sending out a daily “meat deal” the way to go? Wouldn’t it be better if the businesses that focus on Facebook as their promotional strategy is to build a fan base … people who are raving about your product? Fans that leave messages about the product or service should be acknowledged or at the very least recognized by thanking them. The old adage of 10 satisfied customers (fans) tell 10 more … That’s a great way to build your business.

If you are using Facebook as your sole method of promoting your business you may want to consider some of these ideas:

  • Post information to your Facebook page that is worthwhile sharing. A sale item yes, a regularly priced item … not necessarily unless there is something special about the item.
  • Post several times throughout the day but not so often that you become annoying. You don’t want your fans to Unlike you.
  • Ensure that you actually allow fans or visitors to post to your Facebook page. Far too many Facebook page owners are turning off their Comments feature, creating a one way data dump of their product/service to anybody that happens to read the posting.
  • Engage in dialogue with fans that post to your Facebook page. Acknowledge the fact that they have taken their time to comment or promote your business.
  • Offer specials for fans only. I haven’t utilized this tip yet but I understand that it is a great way to build your fan following.
  • Ask your fans to share your posting. Add a ‘please share” comment to the end of every post.
  • Link your Facebook page to your business website if you have one. Give your visitor a reason to go to your website.
  • If you don’t have a website yet … get one! Website developers may argue that you are better to not have a website at all rather than a poorly designed one. Perhaps! The same may be said that if you don’t have a website up and running, even if it is not up to website artisan standards, the consumer will wonder why you don’t have one. The sentiment may be that if you don’t have a website than you can’t be a real or serious business.

Perhaps the title of this article should be Can Facebook Replace Business Websites? My vote is that you need both. You have to wonder though … what is the next big “must have” technology that will replace Facebook?

Something to think about …

 

Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

 

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth

 

Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or info@raestonehouse.com

Rae’s social … are you?

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaeStonehousehttp://twitter.com/RaeStonehouse

Linkedin? Rae is http://www.linkedin.com/in/raestonehousehttp://www.linkedin.com/in/raestonehouse

Copyright 2015 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

 

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com.