Facebook is not the Entire Web

Facebook isn't the entire internet

There are a lot of small businesses and community groups who love Facebook. They jump on, create their group, get some members and a 100 or so likes and they think “Fantastic! I’m reaching all kinds of people, this works for communication with everyone.” Some people believe that a Facebook site or a Social Media profile is better than having a website, and that this is all they need.

They search for their exact group name on Google, and they see the Facebook page show up, people are commenting, so it seems like the perfect solution. Well I’m sorry to do this but I need to point out some major flaws in this line of thinking. However, before I start, social media outlets are needed as part of your overall communication platform. This is just to show the trials of only using a social media platform.

The first thing we need to do when you want to measure value and success is to take a step back and look at it from the 1000 foot perspective.

bad facebookSo lets evaluate those likes and subscribers.

(http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/6-new-facts-about-facebook/)
The median friend count on Facebook is close to 200. This doesn’t count the volume of businesses and community groups that have people hittin the like button. With most businesses offering contests or discounts to increase likes, you are now in real competition for that persons attention. When you do an update there is likely 50 other people doing the same thing.

Next we add in the number of updates done per day. We’ll go moderate estimate on the number and say 3, however everyone who uses Facebook knows there are those people with 10 plus updates a day. They are always showing pictures of everything, quotes, memes, and sayings that they have never used before but found today. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s a main reason of using social media, to communicate in your way.

Looking at those likes and subscribers from this view you can see it’s really hard to make meaningful inroads. Now you  should still use it but you need to use it with strategy to entice people to want to share your information. Another major risk is if you do too many updates. You want to get everything out there but you risk people clicking that “turn off notifications”, so now those likes are false likes and your updates aren’t going to them.

Now, however, there are a lot of positive things about having a Facebook page.  You can engage people who want to be active, you can reach loads of people when people share out your updates, and listing your events allows people to subscribe.

Groups, Groups and More Groups.

One thing you will quickly find, is people love to setup Facebook groups. You actually end up finding loads of groups who are doing the exact same thing. Either they didn’t know another similar group existed, or a group run by 2 people has a dispute, one leaves and starts another group with the same concept. This immediately causes splitting of the user base and creating a higher risk of user apathy. While this is happening and people are joining more groups and growing there update lists your business updates are slowly but surely getting buried by the wave of content.

Can people find you?

facebook findWell you will have no historical data or a trend of information for search engines to assign you page authority. If you don’t know what that means here is a very basic break down: Your website is generally about a topic your business. People link to your site and discuss your business and you put up information related to your business. Google analyses all of this data and begins to put a value on your website in comparison to other websites out there. If you are only on Facebook you have no authority.  If someone searches for a generalized term and not your specific group, your Facebook group will not show up before the most basics of websites with information related to the key words in a search engine.

Don’t be the “Where’s Waldo” of websites!

So for the final summary if you only have a Facebook page to represent you, you are under-valuing the information you are trying to put out to the world around you both locally and globally. You will struggle to grow interest and customers especially if your competitor puts up a regular website and ties into local community websites. Facebook is great for serving the people who sign up and are active in your group for discussion and feedback but with the amount of traffic this will not be the best solution to bring in new people or to get you out there. You should incorporate Social Media as part of your strategy but don’t rely on this as the entire web or you will find yourself playing catch up before you even know you’re behind.

About the author

My Name is George Matthews, I am married have 3 children and 2 dogs. I live in a small town on the East Coast called St. Stephen. Focuses: Front-end Web Development, Design and Analytics.

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