Facebook > The Internet?

While perusing Twitter the other day, I found an “alarming” fact that I’ll paraphrase here…



“One of the world’s largest brands publicly announced that it would rather drive traffic to their Facebook page than their web page.” 

Gasp!

I followed up with the Tweeter to no avail, so who knows if it’s true or not. Regardless, let me talk about why this isn’t (or wouldn’t be) so shocking after all.

Why would you, as a brand, want to get more hits on your Facebook page rather than your website?

1. Facebook Gives You A Captive Audience

Having an active Facebook page is your opportunity to have a captive audience tuned into your “channel.” Sure there are comparable solutions in the web world; you can gauge your analytics; you can see how many unique visitors are on your website everyday; you can even create a Feedburner account to see how many subscribers you have. Unfortunately all of this data provides faceless numbers and zero opportunity to really know who your fans are.

The benefit of having Facebook “fans” is knowing that at any given moment you can broadcast a message that you know will reach your audience. The results are near-instantaneous: If your message fails, you know immediately.

2. Facebook Gives You An Open Forum (if you want it)

The key to reaching your audience on Facebook is message portability. Not only are you reaching a captive audience, but they have the power easily share your message throughout their base. This is a bit more difficult to achieve from your website.

Furthermore, having “likes” on your Facebook page gives your fans an opportunity to communicate with each other. You might notice a bigger opportunity: the forum is your opportunity to communicate directly to your fan-base.

I mean this in the most personal sense. Websites are generally used for sweeping statements and basic info. With a Facebook page you can respond directly to your fans’ needs.

3. Facebook Gives You The Ability To Show Your Fans That Your Message Is Worthwhile

Perhaps you gained a fan because they like your product, restaurant, or store. On a whim they tuned into your channel. That doesn’t mean that they will stay. This is your chance to prove that your messages are worth hearing. You can do this by offering a great deal once a week or maybe just by being genuinely engaging.(Actually, both is a nice approach!)

The great thing is that actively maintaining your Facebook page puts you in a more active role in front of your audience. Instead of relying on updating your website once a quarter and updating your blog once a month, you end up on the frontlines with your fans. Before you say “Well my webmaster said he can make all of that happen on my website with a couple of simple design changes and a few widgets!” Think about it. Websites are great and they remain a very needed tool in your brand marketing. But to deny the fact that web audiences are spending a humongous amount of time staying on Facebook is to deny yourself an opportunity to really reach those people.

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