Are You Losing Business with Facebook?
Is Facebook causing your local business to miss out on new customers? Perhaps that question is a little provocative… after all, Facebook is a helpful tool in the online marketers toolbox, and can be great for creating new leads and customers — BUT — If Facebook is your main or only online presence, then your local business is probably losing business.
With billions of users, it’s evident that Facebook is where many of your customers and prospects interact. However, you should not assume everyone is using it or even on the site. A local small business relying on Facebook for their primary internet presence is losing business.
Joining Facebook isn’t a guarantee that someone is using it to locate a product, service, event, or entertainment venue. Many people use it to communicate with family and friends, but they end up discovering a business through searches that yield most top results as links to websites. That’s not to say that your Facebook page can’t get a first-page Google search results listing. It can and does happen, but mostly when there is minimal local website competition.
Events and Entertainment
Arguably, the top businesses that use Facebook for their central Web presence are bars, restaurants, and event venues. Frequently you’ll find one in the top results with a Facebook URL, usually because they have done a better job of placing content and timely announcements on a website than their competition. If you find an entertainment event announcement in a Google search on a Facebook page, it’s highly likely is that it also appears on a good local business website.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t use a Facebook business page for a local business, particularly for events and entertainment, but it’s a problem if it’s your only place where you make the announcements. Adding Twitter is good, preferably to point users to Facebook when it would work as well as (or better than) pointing them to the same content on your business website.
Current Events Burnout
In recent years, the political environment in the U.S. has caused many people to close their Facebook accounts. Some may use theirs only as a convenient way to communicate with family and friends, but they don’t use it to find out where to take their money for goods, services, and entertainment.
The money a customer brings to your business is politically and culturally neutral. If your primary Web presence for business is Facebook, you’re turning away revenue by not reaching your whole potential audience.
The ideal solution to reaching the most potential customers possible is to have a business website and leverage your content and announcements by posting links back to your site on social sites. Announce the event, special, or sale on your website, then post it to Facebook and Twitter with a link back to your site. You get some SEO clout through the back-linking, and you potentially reach two different audiences.
The overlooked social factor is that people have become accustomed to finding the information they want on the internet, and they expect a viable business to have a website. Even if they see you on Facebook, they’re often looking there for that “Website” link to check you out.