Here’s a social media marketing experiment we invite you to try: Walk around your neighborhood, get the names of five or six small businesses and then Google them. We’re betting that most of the businesses have both a Facebook page, a website and a couple other social media accounts. And then there are surely a few that just have a website. But the most surprising finding will be companies that have solely a Facebook page, and we’re nearly positive that you’ll find a few of those. Relying solely on Facebook to get your company’s information out until you can afford a website is a big risk… plus it sounds crazy. But can it actually work?
Prompted by a late night craving, I recently discovered that the owners of my favorite neighborhood cupcake and frozen yogurt joint has clearly chosen to dive headfirst into Facebook until the website of their dreams can be built. The current website is just a “coming soon” page even though the business has been open for a number of months. The Facebook page, however, is a different story. The local business has chosen to use the page to list its hours, location and menu items. But beyond that, the page prominently features photos of crowds inside enjoying tasty treats, pictures of mouth-watering cupcake creations and status updates with new yogurt flavors. Not only do you get the basic “where are they and what time do they open” kind of information, but you also receive an updated, closer look at the company than a regular static website can really provide.
This neighborhood sweet spot isn’t alone in choosing to focus on Facebook first. Since 2009, big brands have been slowly moving away from marketing their websites to concentrate on Facebook marketing. This being said, traditional websites aren’t going anywhere. The point of social media marketing in the first place is to drive your followers back to your website. Proper Facebook management should always push readers to the website for more content. Websites are the digital hub of a brand and need to be capable of serving the masses. But until that awesome website can be built, Facebook is an effective — even tasty — alternative.