The Death of the Website?

Brand Website vs Facebook Page

The part of the Super Bowl commercials I was most looking forward to this year were the last 2-3 seconds where a brand gives a call to action and usually direct consumers to a certain place for more information. This place has evolved over the years from directing people to stores or 1-800 numbers to now sending everyone to their company website.

However, brands are now having the internal debate on whether to drive consumers to their website or their Facebook Page (or sometimes even their YouTube Channel). It’s clear why CMO’s have to make this tough decision. Big time brands are easily spending six figures to design, manage and drive people to their Facebook Pages. Instead of directing people to yourbrand.com, marketers are building a presence on Facebook because over 71% of U.S. web users are already there and spending nearly an hour a day.

While it might not be the right move for all brands to direct traffic to Facebook Pages instead of their own website, here are a few reason why it can be worth it:

Long Term Relationships

A quick flash of a website might lead a potential customer to visit the site once to view a quick video (hello GoDaddy) or use a store locator. Driving people to a Facebook Page and encouraging them to Like your brand through offering valuable content now opens up a line of communication. You now have the opportunity to reach them on a daily basis via the Facebook News Feed and keep them updated on promotions, sales, contest, new products, etc. Not to mention, you can also house a store locator right there within a custom Facebook tab.

Spread Your Message Virally

When a user Likes your Page, that action becomes visible to their friends as well. Anytime they Like or comment on your updates or post on your Wall, that also becomes an endorsement for your brand that can push their friends to discover your Page.

Real Connections

Once a user Likes your Page they can now post to your wall and comment on your posts. These are prime opportunities for marketers to answer customers’ questions, point them to more information or just thank them for their support. The usual visit to a company website doesn’t lead to a public conversation that can help extend the reach of your brand.

Do It the Right Way

If you are going to direct people to your Facebook Page, at least make it as easy as possible for consumers to find you. There were a few brands that just flashed the obligatory Facebook and Twitter icons at the end of the spots during the game.

With Facebook now having Community Pages and the potential for unofficial user generated Pages, it might not be as easy as you think for someone to find your official Facebook presence. Do people a favor and put your Facebook Page username on display so they know exactly where to go. Budweiser did a great job of this by displaying facebook.com/Budweiser at the very end of their “Tiny Dancer” commercial.

And if you really want to get serious about sending traffic to your Facebook Page through other media channels, display the URL and give people a reason to visit.  Brisk did this by simply putting ‘See More at Facebook.com/Brisk’ at the end of their Eminem ad. It might not have been the most compelling call to action ever but I at least know that if I wanted to see more clay made Eminem I could check out their Page.

The Super Bowl wasn’t the first time brands bypassed their own website to send users to Facebook Pages and it certainly won’t be a trend we see fading away anytime soon. The most important thing is that if you are going to make this leap, make sure your brand has an up-to- date Facebook Page to back it up. If you aren’t going to put the proper effort into your social media, why bother sending people there anyway?

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