This topic is cropping up more and more recently, so we thought we would share our thoughts on it.
There is no doubt that Facebook is an excellent way for most organisations to connect with their customers, and while some brands are taking their e-commerce functions into Facebook and neglecting their website, this will not happen to every brand. Here’s a few thoughts why we feel a company Facebook page should not replace a company’s own website…
- We believe we will get to a point where brands will have to serve two functions with their online presence, corporate company information and a social media function. Now, many brands will decide to move their social function on to Facebook, but why not make your OWN website social! With social media agencies such as ourselves providing easy to integrate social media solutions, there’s no reason why the integration of social media can’t make your website more engaging and interesting.
- Organisations need to take into consideration a section of online consumers who will always be less trustful of social networks and will prefer to deal with brands directly on their own website, which makes the social functionability of your own brand website even more important.
- Let’s not forget that your company doesn’t own their Facebook Page. If Facebook wants to change the rules (as we have found they do with competitions regularly), or the features, how it looks etc they can do it in a flash.
- Lack of flexibility with a Facebook page. While you may be able to make modifications to your Facebook page, you won’t have total control over your brand presence. There will still be a Facebook experience running in the background, reminding people that they are interacting with Facebook just as much as they are your brand. Having your own website with social media functionality will allow you to communicate like you would on Facebook, but on own terms and in your own style and branding.
- Lack of analytics. While Facebook provides some tools to help you track interactions, they are certainly not as insightful as website analytics. Google analytics is a free service that allows you track every single interaction on your website; including how people found you in the first place. Things like Keywords and Referrals are not included in Facebook analytics and this information is incredibly valuable. Why limit your ability to learn from your website?
All is all, Facebook should be leveraged as part of your marketing strategy, but it certainly should not be a substitute for your own company website. By adding social media components like discussions and upload experiences to your own website, you can bring the social element of such social networking sites to your own branded website, providing a deeper level of customer loyalty and trust (which you own)