Is Facebook the New “.com”?

photo compliments of

Facebook has been growing by leaps and bounds and with over 500 Million Users it's no longer just for kids nor can it be ignored. I've noticed that more and more companies are not only staking out a presence on Facebook, but they are even using their Facebook Pages in lieu of their corporate sites when they advertise on TV and in print. All of these screen grabs (Pepsi, Gerber, Carnival, etc.) were from the last frame of their respective TV commercials…


People don't wake up to go your site every day

One thing I came to the realization of last year was that while we may flatter ourselves in thinking that our customers love to come to our sites on a regular basis, chances are the vast majority don't visit your corporate site each day. Think about it. You probably go to most corporate sites when you either have a problem or you're ready to buy something new. It's probably not your daily hangout. You probably don't think to go there to "connect" with the company. On the other hand people go to Facebook EVERY DAY with the sole purpose of connectingt with others. While I definitely appreciate those of you who come here and read my posts, I know that there are millions of people out there that will NEVER come here. In 2010 I had the goal of "being everywhere." What that meant to me was expanding beyond my own .com and placing my content in more places. I was very happy with the results. I now have over 8,000 Twitter followers and over 3,000 Facebook Fans (Likes). I also have over 3 Million views of my YouTube content as well as millions of downloads of my content on iTunes. In most cases many of these users would never see my content on the other/opposite sites. 


Why are more companies using Facebook?

Besides the obvious reason of there being a potential audience of 500 million users, Facebook makes it easy for companies to have DIRECT contact with customers without resorting to spam, opt-in policies, building microsites, etc. Also existing Facebook users are more likely to check out their favorite brands on than they are to visit those same corporate sites on a regular/daily basis.

The other benefit is that while many of these companies have their own "forums" for direct communication, users don't have to setup logins for multiple sites. Just log in once to Facebook and visit any company you want and post on their wall. I think that another reason why companies are putting themselves on Facebook is that it's much easier and faster updating a Facebook Page than it is going through the usual red tape, legal, political fronts getting the main corporate site updated. Usually the larger the corporation, the harder it is to get something on the official company website. Sometimes I think the US Congress moves faster! Companies tend to be a little more lax and "casual" when it comes to their social media presence and that's actually a good thing! It feels more "friendly". 


You have to be prepared to take the bad with the good

The internet gives everyone a voice (whether they can use it intelligently or not 🙂 )and people on the internet can be rude, insulting, immature, and brutally honest. If you make a product and they don't like it or have a beef with you, they will let you know as well as the rest of the world. So you have to be prepared to take the bad with the good. Luckily, there is usually more good than bad and more importantly you'll have a good idea of how people "really" feel about your product/services. Taking into account that some of these comments could be coming from competitors and known enemies, you do have to weigh the total sentiment being expressed.


The Bottom Line

Facebook not only gives individuals an easy to use social networking presence, but it also gives major corporations a way to connect with their customers who may never actually visit their corporate websites. I've even seen companies like American Express direct you to Facebook first before sending you to their corporate site to register for contests/deals. Even though there are lots of companies that haven't gone as far as to point people to their Facebook page instead of their corporate site, in most cases they DO have a Facebook presence.  Like it or not, Facebook is a major force on the internet and if you choose to ignore it then that probably says a lot about how "in touch" you are with your customers.

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23 Replies to “Is Facebook the New “.com”?”

  1. I was just saying this to my friends while watching the Superbowl. And you’re absolutely correct about the “why”. Everyone’s already on Facebook, and it’s an everyday thing for most people. It really makes you wonder what will be the end of Facebook. Just when it seems that it’s reached the end of it’s life, we see that the site is actually still gaining in popularity. Why do you think will be the “downfall” of FB?

  2. I tried not to succumb to the “Facebook phenomena” because I don’t like to just jump onto the “popular” bandwagon.

    However, since signing up for Facebook over two years ago, I find myself checking my Facebook page BEFORE my email in the morning!

    I agree with this article and think you have hit the nail on the head, Terry.

    Social networking is here to stay, and it’s important to know how to use it.

    The “downfall” of FB would be if they charged us to use it. Let the advertisers pay and leave the users alone.

  3. Respectfully disagree. Due to Facebook’s history with user personal information I have a minimal Facebook presence. No accurate info is present, and I still get birthday wishes on the date provided. By using Facebook to see your estores’ message, you’ve added another layer of application/lack of security to pass through. For the estore they need to attract attention anyway they can, so if its Facebook so be it. For me the user I’d rather go directly to their web site, get the info I needed, and judge how much info they are trapping by the cookies they leave which my browser app will delete. As long as an RSS feed is available I can see immediately what’s new and if I wish to see it. Otherwise if they want me to have info, they can send it to me via a junk email address. In short identity crumbs are to be kept to a bare minimum. ps. How are you sure that the estore’s Facebook is really from the estore, because Facebook said so?

    1. William—I think you’re totally missing the point. Terry’s article is about how companies have embraced Facebook, and instead of leading customers to their own .com websites, they’re choosing to send them to their company’s Facebook page, which I think speaks volumes, which is what Terry’s article is about.

      For some reason, you decided to make this about why you don’t use Facebook, and your privacy concerns, which is fine—it’s just not what Terry’s post was about on any level.

  4. I am one of the few NOT on facebook. (I tried it didn’t like it.) and I find it frustrating to see some companies only on facebook. I tried to get more information for a designer only to find that zi would have to sign up for facebook just to view their site. I don’t get it.

  5. I’m no Luddite nor technophobe, but I’m a very, very minimal Facebook user (nor do I Tweet or send text messages on a daily basis). Every other month it seems that FB is backtracking from some new attempt to secure how many strands of hair are on a particular person’s head (which is not to say that Adobe might not be interested in this information, but perhaps Adobe is more subtle or respectful in it’s information gathering). I’d much prefer to go to a company’s web site to get information — although, as TW writes, FB might be a great place for bloggers like him to expand their presence. And TW might be correct that FB is the new .com. In the end, FB might become so big that I’ll be assimilated (just like what happened when Word took over from Word Perfect) … but my personal opinion is that we need to remind ourselves that we are still in the very early days of this technological world with its 365/24/7 communications capablities. I can remember the days long before cable TV, and I would describe those days as a time when there were silent spaces in our lives. It feels today, however, that the silent spaces are like the rain forests — vital but disappearing parts of our ecology. Yes, I know, the only constant is change … but we have to remember that not all change is an improvement.

  6. No FB for me either…never tried it, don’t plan to. And anyone who is ONLY on FB is losing me as a customer. If you’re only going to be on FB, at least make your page public. I’m sick of signing up for everything under the sun.

  7. I am very close to quitting Facebook all together. Starting to get a lot of weird Facebook spam that is obviously phishing stuff. When I attempted to draw Facebook into the problem they just put it back on me. While I like to see photos of friends and family, I think there are much better vehicles.

    1. There will soon be an alternative to FaceBook.

      WebSonar can be used to create a personal library on your own computer by simply adding documents to a folder. You can then access your library from any computer running a web browser.
      Your WebSonar library cannot be indexed or accessed by Google or any of the robot search engines. The web pages are created dynamically and are only viewable by the person who initiated the search request. The only page that can be indexed is the search page and even that will only be indexed if someone creates a link to it because it is not available on port 80 where the search engines crawl.

      When you delete content from your library there is no shadow left on the internet of your own making.

  8. I would agree with Terry that there seems to be a huge migration to Facebook. We elected to use Facebook to draw traffic to our main website vs replace the website with Facebook.

    We use Facebook (and soon Twitter) for a mobile application I developed. It’s obvious that our applications use of Facebook drastically facilitates adoption of mobile applications from where I’m sitting. We are NOT using any targeted advertising or leveraging any personal information at all, it’s the ease of sharing with your Friends and providing a “vehicle” for personal recommendations. That, in my mind is the secret sauce of Facebook and that is all we do with them and are seeing significant success. It will be interesting to watch this technology grow. They know they have to be careful as if they overstep their bounds, the same ease of information sharing that has brought them fame, can quickly work against them.

  9. In our industry (wedding and lifestyle photography) many people still blog, but have it feed to the Facebook “Biz/Like/Fan whatever you want to call it today. I think for the Millennial generation this the trand towards Facebook and social networking in general will grow exponentially over the next 5 years.

  10. I don’t use Facebook for “business” related stuff. I am finding that I do a lot fewer blog posts on my own site because it’s just easier to post something quick and relevant on FB. I do like being able to follow things that I like such as various bands that I’m interested in and companies that I enjoy their products. I just hope that it doesn’t get so convoluted that you just can’t find anything worthwhile and have to weed through way too much… and that will kill it for me. I think FB will implode and something else will take its place.

    I don’t post pictures to FB… that’s a whole different story.

    Interesting post, Terry.

  11. Michael hit it. Remember when everyone was using AOL keywords in their ads?

    Facebook by a long shot is no replacement for a website. It is an addition to one.

    whatever you do don’t put all your content on FBls servers alone…

  12. I delayed getting into / onto Facebook as long as I could, knowing that inevitably I needed to have presence there also.

    Funny how addictive and connecting FB it turned out to be for me. Plus, now I want a Like button for comments on every blog I read!

  13. Not a FB user. I waste so much time on the internet as it is, I can’t imagine how much more I’d waste if I was into social media.
    I thank God every day that I simply don’t have the desire to use social media. I know how awesome it is and how it’s taking over the world, and it makes me even more thankful that I don’t use it.

    There is too much real life to live right here, like riding a real bike in the real outdoors, or interacting with real live people, rather than spending my time in the virtual world.

    Terry, this was a great, thought provoking post. Thank you for putting in the time and effort to post it.

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