Where Does Facebook Stand For Marketers?
How much does Facebook matter for local small to medium-sized marketers? A website remains the place where business owners can CONTROL their brand message online, including with the depth of information necessary to impress the most discerning prospective leads (as well as search engine crawlers looking to rank the good content); however, it is normal for local business owners to wonder “where should Facebook stand for marketers or in my marketing mix? “
Let’s take a quick look at some data and some ideas.
Traffic From Facebook Down
According to Chartbeat, direct traffic (i.e. entered exact URL into a browser or has browser set to no tracking), and traffic from ‘Google searches’ to most business websites is higher than referral traffic from Facebook. In fact, Facebook traffic has been declining since January 2017. At least traffic from people on mobile devices (see chart below) that is, but mobile is certainly a basis for traffic measurement and so the data point is certainly noteworthy.
For a time Facebook was one of, if not, the most important sources of traffic for marketers. For some business owners it was critical to be active there… and, so far as social media networks go, it still is the most enormous gathering place online! While the data above suggests Facebook is trending down as a driver of traffic to business websites, the opportunity as a potential source of traffic & leads should never be underestimated! In fact, when unique information is posted into any social environment a positive side effect is often a presence that people will talk about.
Facebook Ads Performance Up
While Facebook appears to generate less organic referral traffic (to business websites) in the chart above, it’s still the largest social network! And in spite of that data above ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE has actually improved a great deal, which must keep Facebook (especially considering its’ targeting capabilities and low cost) on the shortlist of potential traffic driving opportunities.
According to the latest internet trends report by Mary Meeker, the click-through rate of ads on Facebook has tripled since 2016.
Consider that advertisements in social network environments are generally an interruption versus, for instance, being visible when a person is actually searching for something. When it’s search, it is a qualified individual with specific intent; whereas, with social networks like Facebook the advantages may include getting to them early and branding.
Summary: Focus On SEO, But Keep Social Networks & Facebook On The Radar
For local business marketers, social media should play a role in an online strategy; however, a brand’s website content and its’ ‘search engine optimization’ must remain a priority! Timely, authoritative content that offers the best user experience possible has re-situated itself atop the list of traffic drivers, but Facebook also matters! Especially because it offers such specific targeting capabilities, a definitive advantage!