There is no stopping Facebook at this point, no doubt about it. And with that also comes the increasing number of brands and companies engaging in the creation and management of Pages (or “Fan Pages” as they used to be known).
We even hear about companies not having websites anymore to migrate all their efforts to Facebook. Okay, those are extreme cases but you can’t deny that at least once you heard about it.
The problem is we are jumping in the wagon as we did back in the day when we decided that we needed a website because our competitors had one. We ended up building millions of digital brochures that did nothing but get you an “online presence”. What if Facebook Pages are not all that? What if they don’t work as well as we think they do?
This doesn’t mean that Facebook Pages are not good for anything, they have proven to be a good traffic generator in some cases for example. They are great to increase your reach and build an audience for your blog.
But what we shouldn’t do is put all our eggs in Facebook. Today I’m giving you 6 reasons not do that.
One thing I want to say before we jump into this is that I’m not a Facebook hater and I am not one of those people that gets upset at change. I say this because it seems to be a good week to trash Facebook. This is absolutely not the case.
Now we can do this… here are my 6 reasons why you should NOT put all your online efforts into Facebook:
1. You do NOT own the traffic
You shouldn’t put your focus on any channel for that matter, you don’t own traffic on social networks or any other service that you don’t host on your own server with your own domain.
It’s not just that you don’t own the traffic, if you think about it, you don’t own any of the interactions either (Likes or Comments) from your page. You don’t even own the domain. If you want to open a new Page, Facebook doesn’t even let you migrate your Likes if you’re not a major brand.
This point should also be a consideration when you think about blogging on platforms such as Tumblr, Posterous or WordPress.com. Your best bet when using services like this is that you set them up to use a custom domain, then when you decide to migrate to another service, at least you have created awareness on the domain. Otherwise, you should focus on a platform that you completely own, like the self-hosted WordPress.
2. Not everybody sees your updates
Most people managing a Facebook Page don’t know that posts are NOT automatically posted on the News Feed for everyone to see. In fact, for some Pages most updates won’t even make it there.
Did you know that there is a high percentage of people that click Like on your Page that will never come back to it? Now, if they don’t come back and they can’t see our updates on the News Feed then what the hell are we doing?
There is a post coming here on SocialMouths in a few days that talks about this in more detail.
3. You don’t know how it really works
There are a few factors of Facebook Pages we don’t quite yet understand. Some of the common ones I see on a daily basis are:
- How and where people really interact with your content
- What is EdgeRank
- How to optimize your content to perform better on the News Feed
- How to read Facebook Insights
And much more. The problem with not knowing how these things work is that you are putting a lot of work into it and it all goes to waste. It is very frustrating.
4. Your Landlord can change things at anytime
As we all saw last week, the landlord can just come in your apartment and rearrange all the interior walls and your furniture as he pleases and he couldn’t care less about notifying you in advance. The reason is very simple: He owns your apartment!
When was the last time you sent a check to Facebook for hosting your profile? That’s what I thought…
Point is that Facebook, or any other network, will make changes that sometimes are not the best fit for you and there is really nothing you can do but adjust your business.
5. Is not the best communication channel
Twitter has proven that when it comes to communications (i.e. Customer Service), there is nothing like its real-time conversation model and the ease of brand monitoring. Facebook doesn’t have that. Period.
Let me ask you this, how long does it take you to get back on a comment? Do you know how fast communications happen on Twitter? Even Google+ seems like it flows faster.
6. Engagement is extremely low
Real engagement on Facebook Pages is almost non-existent. Here is an example of what I’m talking about…
in a recent study, Market Sentinel surveyed 20 of the most “Liked” Pages from celebrities and found that the number of “Core Fans” is in fact much lower than the actual number of “Fans”. MS has defined “Core Fans” as those fans who have commented more than the Page average.
As of May 2011 no celebrity had more Fans than Eminem on Facebook with a count of over 41.5 million. The count for “Core Fans” is a different story with only 575. Which means that the percentage of “Core Fans” is 0.0001%. The highest percentage is for Selena Gomez with a sad 0.0005%.
Courtesy of Market Sentinel
Should you not be on Facebook then?
That’s not at all what I’m saying. What I’m saying is:
- You should not build the core of your online business on Facebook
- You should not use it as a hub for your online presence
- You should not send your traffic to your Facebook Page
You know how they say that websites are becoming a thing of the past, that Facebook is swallowing the Internet and it makes sense to be where your community is? Here is what I have to say: DON’T.
Facebook is great, in fact is my number #1 referral source of traffic sometimes and I try to leverage it in any way I can, but the place where you drive your traffic, build an audience and a community and engage with your tribe, is your blog my friends.
Continue to be on Facebook, just don’t put all your eggs in it!
How are you doing with your Page? Do you know how many updates makes it to the News Feeds? Do you know how many of your fans are “Core Fans”? I your Facebook Page sending traffic to your blog or website?
Share your thoughts in the comments section or ask questions if you want.