Facebook will not replace websites

Over the past few weeks, I have seen chatter suggesting that Facebook fan pages will replace websites for companies and individuals. Stephen Haines of Facebook notes, “companies’ interactions with their customers could take place so often on Facebook that company websites would fall by the wayside,” but I am not buying it.

The interactions on Facebook are truly impactful for any business, the problem is your company does not own the customer experience, conversation or content – Facebook does.  (See Facebook’s T&C)

The concept of making Facebook your central hub and presence on the web is sickening to me. If you are putting in the blood, sweat and tears to build up your web presence for your business or building a blog you want to have ownership of it.dislike this...

You also need to know that no matter how uber-popular Facebook is, it has still experienced downtime and bugs. If a customer heads to your page at that time and can’t get in, chances are that they’ll head to a competitor’s website where they can make a live connection or get information. Now this is not to say that websites don’t have their downtime, difference is that if you are paying for a service, you can call your hosting provider to get an ETA of a fix and bitch and moan about it. With Facebook, you are at the mercy of their developers and servers.

There is also the small little issue that as a race, we humans are fickle. We are always looking for bigger, better or newer. In the social media realm, we’ve seen players be the apple of everyone’s eye only to fall to the untouchable class – remember when Myspace was sitting on top of the world?  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can say with certainty that we cannot assume that Facebook will always be numero uno in the social space despite what Mark Zuckerberg would like us to believe.

Please don’t confuse this with saying that you shouldn’t utilize Facebook or its network. Once you’ve built up the content, shopping experience, etc. push it towards your own cultivated community that plays on the world’s top social network.

A common misconception in this ever-evolving space is that social networks will replace traditional means of business. In reality, they are just another spoke that ties back to a hub. If the fish are there, drop a line as it can help drive things back to your core business but if you think that this is totally off base and that companies should put all of their eggs in the Facebook Easter basket or advise clients to do so, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear why.

Image – Martin Neuhof

 

146,266 Responses to Facebook will not replace websites
  1. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 2:19 pm

    @Ari Herzog @Shonali Would be interesting to see. At the same time, I really think that bad advice will turn this into commonplace. Also how many fan-driven pages are there out there for local shops that don’t realize it?

  2. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 2:19 pm

    @Ari Herzog @Shonali Would be interesting to see. At the same time, I really think that bad advice will turn this into commonplace. Also how many fan-driven pages are there out there for local shops that don’t realize it?

  3. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 2:19 pm

    @Ari Herzog @Shonali Would be interesting to see. At the same time, I really think that bad advice will turn this into commonplace. Also how many fan-driven pages are there out there for local shops that don’t realize it?

  4. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 2:19 pm

    @Ari Herzog @Shonali Would be interesting to see. At the same time, I really think that bad advice will turn this into commonplace. Also how many fan-driven pages are there out there for local shops that don’t realize it?

  5. ariherzog
    March 23, 2011 | 11:57 am

    @Shonali Makes you wonder how many residents of your city are “fans” of restaurants and retailers on Facebook but never visited their website, eh?

  6. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 12:19 pm

    @Ari Herzog @Shonali Would be interesting to see. At the same time, I really think that bad advice will turn this into commonplace. Also how many fan-driven pages are there out there for local shops that don’t realize it?

  7. Ari Herzog
    March 23, 2011 | 12:34 pm

    @jeffespo @Shonali How many Yelp/Tripadvisor/etc reviews exist without the shop owners knowing about it? Facebook is hardly alone.

  8. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 12:54 pm

    @Ari Herzog @Shonali Lets not bring up Yelp because they are a scam pay-to-play site. But yes there are ones that folks don’t tie into, however the problem comes with people who are speaking at these events saying don’t bother with a website, Facebook is where it is at. There is no guarantee that Zuckerberg won’t set up a pay-wall that prices out SMBs and at the end of the day, they don’t own the content. Getting bad advice is awful especially when you fork over money to get it.

    There are too many sites and review sites to keep up with period, every week a new one pops up.

  9. Ari Herzog
    March 23, 2011 | 3:28 pm

    @jeffespo How is Yelp a scam?

  10. Shonali
    March 23, 2011 | 3:32 pm

    @Ari Herzog Absolutely.

  11. jeffespo
    March 23, 2011 | 5:22 pm

    @Ari Herzog Have you never heard about their pay to play scheme where you can push down or remove negative listings? That is just shady and it continues to go on today, but then again many of the most “reputable” consumer groups are shams as well including one that is supposedly a 3 letter government agency.

    In terms of Yelp they also will only remove incorrect listings if you become an advertiser with them as well.

    So to me if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, well then it is a duck.

  12. Paul Sutton
    June 15, 2011 | 5:21 pm

    The website is the end point, but the journey now takes place on Facebook (and the rest of the social web). Therefore, the website itself is now far less important. Although that doesn’t mean we should’t have one!

  13. Exploring Conversational Media
    June 15, 2011 | 5:21 pm

    @alexis but you can’t always buy online via Facebook and where do the ads take you?
    @Paul You still need to own the hub

  14. Alexis Faulkner Ceule
    July 9, 2011 | 10:51 am

    I can’t remember the last time I searched for or visited a regular website. I suppose unless I can only purchase from a particular website, will I be visiting one again soon. evolution.

  15. Exploring Conversational Media
    July 9, 2011 | 10:51 am

    Alexis problem is that all content on FB is owned by them, if you are producing on here and the site goes poof (which yes can happen) you are screwed.

  16. Alexis Faulkner Ceule
    July 9, 2011 | 10:51 am

    Great point. From a consumer standpoint, this is where I am. Here and Twitter. I get all the good coupons and “deals” via these two networks. I also feel more valued on FB and Twitter by the companies I would be watching via websites anyway. I am grateful for the “in the cloud” information the social marketers are using to target me, knowing what I like, lean toward, favor. I’ve been very pleased with the FB ads in the last 6 months. Granted, there is more spam here and Twitter. More than ever it seems like. However, not enough to turn me off yet. I know these won’t be around for a long time… but I’m enjoying them now. I appreciate these companies know where the most pairs of eyeballs are too. Curious as to the next piece of evolution for social media. Where do you think it will go?

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