A Facebook Page is Great But….

By Mark Evans - Friday, September 10th, 2010 at 7:29 am  

For many companies enhancing their social media and digital footholds, there’s growing interest in Facebook Pages.

Their appeal has much to do with the ability to generate a steady stream of content (videos, photos, polls, contests, updates, etc.), engage with customers, and establish a better presence through the use of the “Like” functionality and Facebook’s social graph.

But like anything new and shiny that captures your attention, companies should try not to get too carried away with their love affair with Facebook Pages. While there are lots advantages to having one, putting too emphasis on it could be a mistake.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is a Facebook Page starts to take attention and resources away from a company’s Web site, which is the foundation of any company’s online presence.

While Web sites are not seen as particularly sexy or dynamic, they play an important part in how a company is seen online and the branding, messaging and information it provides to different constituents.

It means that as much as a company wants to have a Facebook Page featuring lots of content and a large group of engaged fans, it is also important that its Web site gets enough love and attention to remain vibrant and a valuable resource.

Companies need to make sure their Web sites stay refreshed, relevant, informative and appealing. This is particularly important as the attention span of online users becomes even more scattered. If a Web site doesn’t capture the attention of someone right away, they will quickly move on. This makes how a Web site looks and its messaging more crucial than ever.

In an ideal world, a corporate Web site and a Facebook Page provide a company with a great one-two digital “punch”. The Web offers solid information in a user-friendly way, while a Facebook Page drives new content and engagement. If done well, a Web site and Facebook Page can be highly complementary.

Here are some tips to have a successful “marriage” between a Web site and Facebook Page:

1. As part of an overall digital strategy, it is important to establish the roles played by a Web site and Facebook Page. What kind of information does each entity need to deliver, what audiences are they serving, and how will their success be measured?

2. Make sure they play well together. A Web site should do a good job of telling visitors about the Facebook Page (and perhaps some of its benefits), while a Facebook Page should be designed, in part, to drive traffic to the Web site. One of the best ways to make this happen is creating a “Welcome” tab on a Facebook Page that quickly tells visitors what a company does or makes.

3. A Web site and Facebook Page needs consistency when it comes to branding and messaging. As complementary digital assets, they need to provide a united front for visitors even though how they are used may be different.

4. Don’t fall in love with any particular digital asset. Look at your Web site or social media services (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.) as your children. While some may be better behaved than others, you still need to love them equally and do your best to support their growth.

More: For some tips on how measure engagement and gains fans and “Likes” for a Facebook Page, check out the recent #smmeausure chat done by Sysomos and Marketware.

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