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 …