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Friday, September 30, 2011

To have a website or a Facebook page?

An interesting development is taking place when your brand is reviewing its online presence – whether to have a website only or have a website and a Facebook page or only a Facebook page or may be none?

Keeping in view the time consumers are spending online and especially in social networks many brands have started preferring their pages on Facebook as an invite to potential customers to go online and know more. So for example even if Nokia has its global websites, for certain promotions and targeted activities – they may ask customers to go visit . While it all sounds very much in vogue to do something like that but make sure you take care of the following four points before jumping into the band wagon.

1. What does your business really need?
Depending on the industry your business belongs to, the size and vision you have, you might not require an online presence in the first place, but true that the number of such businesses may be very few. So you may end up having a company website and if you are pretty much happy with its performance – ask yourself if you really need a social media presence or not. A good approach in this case would be to keep your target consumers in mind – if you are sure that they are not going to be on Facebook – then don’t bother spending time and money in social networks for your brand.

2. The cost-benefit angle
One key reason to have pages on Facebook is that it is free to set up. The other reason is that it doesn't take much time to do so. So it might be a lucrative option for small and medium businesses who may want to have a readily available online presence without investing much cost and time. Also, as small businesses always prefer – a page on social networks can provide more engagement and interactivity with the business owners directly and provides more control to page/business owner in terms of the day to day management of the page. Please note however that if you really want a professional presence on social networks – you will have to invest (time, money) as the free option will not allow you customisation, detailed performance analytics and reports on your investments, social media dashboards for tracking your various digital assets on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Google etc.

3. The direction of your content travelling
Remember that websites pull in traffic so that consumers come visit your website to know more about your products and services. So your information/content stays where it is and users travel. On the other hand, when you have a strategic presence in social networks, you will need to make sure that your content and information about your products and services travel to where your target consumers are – in social networks. If you think that this is what will benefit your business and customer satisfaction – then do it.

4. Not mutually exclusive
It is perfectly advisable to have both a formal, well maintained, structured, easy to use company website and an interactive, engaging social network presence for your company. Please don’t get into the false notion that the social network presence for your business can be maintained perfectly by your nephew Sakib only, who studies in North South and spends hours chasing girls on Facebook – you will need to justify the strategic use of any such property with adequately trained human resource allocated to operate them regularly – otherwise it is simply not worth it.

Incase you want to know more about Facebook usage statistics related to Bangladesh, visit, something which I like.

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