More and more, people search their Facebook pages for nearby restaurants and shops instead of Google. They’ve been trained well. While not every eatery can afford a website, it’s easy to make Facebook part of their restaurant marketing strategy. It already exists, it’s free to set up, and the monthly cost of marketing can vary with their budget. It’s easy to see why so many businesses jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. And after years of practice, consumers know they can almost always find Facebook pages for their favorite businesses.
Following our February theme of how social media is changing, today’s post is about how Facebook is no longer just social media.
Facebook Pages Are Better Than Webpages
…sometimes. Not all of the time. But having your own webpage is no longer the be-all, end-all of the internet. Neither is having a Facebook Page. Although for many types of businesses, there is much more reason to pour your resources into Facebook than Google.
When people search on Facebook, they’re looking for local results that their friends may or may not recommend. On Google, it’s usually for bigger concepts. We’re all guilty of googling a word instead of picking up the dictionary. Macs even have a dictionary built in. We just know that Google is where you go when you don’t know something.
Facebook’s influence on web traffic is a steadily rising tide, according to Shareaholic. Since 2011, Facebook is responsible for 277% more referrals now than it was back then. Reviving a dead buzzword always sounds sad, but this is social networking at its core. Consumers are linking with friends and businesses, then Facebook recommends new pages for them to like based on existing interests.
Google+ Is (Maybe) Going Away
Another of the big factors in local search was Google+, everybody’s favorite social media platform to hate on. Sure, it’s been awhile since a major update and the Google staffer who supervised the project left the company, but Google+ is still the belle of the ball for local search. However, the platform has never been appealing for businesses.
Other than getting your business found in search, there wasn’t much of a reason to sign up for Google+. It stripped your company of all the branding you can feature on a similar Facebook page. Yes, it technically was a better investment for a business – but Facebook had more personality.
While there have been some bad arguments against Google+ (as copyblogger points out), there are some very compelling reasons to sign up for the service. Most of which have to do with the direction they see Google+ moving in; a direction that Facebook could also be moving in.
Marketers Are Dumping Money Into Facebook
Facebook is making more and more money from brands featuring themselves in ads. Business Insider put together a handy chart to show how quickly revenue is growing.
The more brands invest in Facebook, the more users learn that their favorite brands and therefore-probably-all-of-them use Facebook. All of that money is a measurement of how aware Facebook users are that they can find local businesses on it. It’s an investment someone else is making in how viable a platform is for your business.
Be The Same, On Every Platform
Meyer Bennett creates branding for businesses that they can use across all media – social, print, or anything else. Facebook pages are a personal space ready for your brand’s personality. How are you expressing your brand in the digital world?