A very lively discussion this past week on the LinkedIn book marketing group — the question was posed: “Facebook or author website? Which works better to attract new customers and sell more to returning customers?“ with a link to a research study designed to understand the impact of Facebook for retailers. Interesting takeaways include:
- Consumers interact with retailers’ Facebook pages (38 percent) more than the brands’ own websites (36 percent); a difference that is significantly more pronounced for younger consumers
- 89 percent of those who interact with a retailer online through any social media outlet say that the interaction has an impact on their purchase
Whether these numbers translate similarly for an author’s Facebook page is unknown, but let’s assume they do. The first figures tell me that this isn’t an “either/or” scenario — the numbers just aren’t significant enough to warrant placing all of your marketing eggs in the Facebook basket. Your website is and always will be your online “hub” — where you have complete control and ownership.
Furthermore, as I always tell my clients — Facebook is a moving target. Change happens frequently, and we’re not in control.
Facebook said Tuesday that it is once again fudging with the formula behind News Feed. This time around, the social network warned Page owners that it would show their text-only status updates to a smaller number of their followers.
The Problem with Facebook
To better understand how the Facebook newsfeed algorithm works, it’s worth seven minutes of your time to watch the following video:
If you don’t have seven minutes to spare — in a nutshell: on Facebook, we are all now advertisers. As users, we’re increasingly going to see content from the highest bidder.
What does this mean to you? Should you abandon your Facebook efforts and focus on your website or other social media channels? I know many of my clients feel defeated by Facebook, they find it to be a “waste of time.” Well... if what you’re putting into it is time, that might be true. Facebook is more and more becoming a pay to play platform.
But consider this: an Alexa report for Amazon.com ranks Facebook as it’s second highest traffic source. Besides google.com, Facebook is the site that most users visited immediately before arriving at Amazon. Facebook is still a huge, huge player, but keep your eye on that moving target. Whether Facebook can monetize without becoming “too spammy” or diminishing the real value for users (social interaction) is the big unknown.