Why Are You Still Using Facebook?

Word over at Open Forum is that customers prefer business websites over business Facebook pages.

It makes sense. We’ve discussed this topic before here on GBW:

Now there is more evidence supporting the fact that you should be ignoring Facebook in favor of your own website. Here is a snippet from the article linked above on Open Forum:

Consumers still visit companies’ websites more often than their Facebook pages, says a report released Thursday from social marketing firm Get Satisfaction and analyst Incyte Group. Nearly 90 percent of the some 2,000 people surveyed said the company’s website—not a social network—is their preferred place to research products and hunt for information they’ll use to make buying decisions. They said they go straight to a company’s website (as opposed to looking first on a social network).

Hello. Those are important numbers. In fact, the entire article is full of great information so I’m going to go through each and add my own thoughts.

My Thoughts: It shouldn’t be a surprise that people prefer company websites over Facebook pages. People use Facebook to learn the latest gossip happening with their family and friends. The Facebook Newsfeed is like TMZ for real life. Instead of learning about what’s happening with the Kardashians people are learning about their friends. People aren’t going on Facebook to learn about companies.

“It’s clear that companies aren’t getting the results they need from investing in social media. Consumers don’t just want to be broadcasted to,” says Get Satisfaction CEO Wendy Lea.

My Thoughts: Don’t be so quick to generalize social media. There are plenty of businesses out there benefitting from blogging, which is often considered a form of social media.

Observed the report: “When customers look to part with their hard earned cash, they want to do so with brands they know and trust, not companies that repeatedly spam them on Facebook or Twitter.”

My Thoughts: Have these folks been reading GBW? Here were my thoughts on businesses earning trust with a blog. Of course the idea of earning trust is not new. It’s not something I or the folks in the article came up with. The concept is simply something that’s been going on for a long time in the brand and consumer world. Blogging is a great way for businesses to earn trust. When you give people something such as insight or how to knowledge they trust your brand.

Facebook, for the record, is still the main way people share content, according to this survey. More than a third (35.1 percent) used their Facebook news feed to share content and 21.3 percent shared via likes. Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging were not used as often.

My Thoughts: A couple interesting points here. I’m not sure what the content is the report is discussing, but I’m going to assume it means sharing personal information in the Newsfeed. From my experience people share personal information with their friends on Facebook. This includes photos (tons of photos) and personal updates like what they’re doing on any given day. That kind of information is what Facebook lives on. Well, it’s what Facebook users live on. Facebook makes its money from business advertising…for now. For the second part about blogging I’m not sure what the context is exactly. I’ll assume that people aren’t sharing a ton of blog content on Facebook. Again, this makes sense. I don’t have a business page for GBW. I have done it with Country Music Life, but really I haven’t seen much benefit there for any amount of effort. I automatically share the posts on the Facebook page, but really it doesn’t seem worth it. There is more return for investing my time creating blog posts for people to find via referrals like shares from the artist social sharing sites or even their own websites.

Final Thoughts: I don’t see the value in Facebook for businesses. I have yet to really see a business succeed with any amount of effort invested in Facebook. There is much more return to be had from investing in your own business website. Blogging remains a great way to earn new customers for your company. You earn trust by offering advice and information. People discover your content via search, social and referrals. They opt-in to your content. They purchase your products and services. There are tangible results with blogging. If your business is in the right industry you can get results like 70% of sales via a blog.

Are you still spending time on Facebook?

It’s hard to ignore a billion people using the social network, but it’s important to understand the context in which those people use the site and how that relates to your business.

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