Technology and marketing combining has shown itself to be a very confusing area for many small businesses. While the last decade has brought incredible strides for making all of this easier for SMBs, some aspects haven’t simplified enough.
This month’s 3 Digital Things looks at SMBs using Facebook as their website. It’s easy to see that posting to Facebook is far easier than using a website content management system (CMS) as well as a cost savings too. But is this lack of a web address and website hurting them at all? Let’s look at some examples and you can decide.
1- What’s The Scoop?
What’s The Scoop is an ice cream shop that just opened in the town of 17,000 where I live. I learned of their opening a couple month’s before they opened their doors thanks to a community group page on Facebook.
That led me to “Like” their page and follow along as they remodeled the building, passed inspections, got signage up and announced their opening. I couldn’t imagine a better marketing campaign ahead of selling their first scoop. People were exited, encouraging and couldn’t wait to try it out.
It showed when they opened with lines out the door their first week and it’s continued to be busy since. What’s The Scoop doesn’t have a website, they just use their Facebook page to communicate and market. It’s hard to think the lack of a website has hurt them at all when you see what they have accomplished using Facebook.
- Over 2,300 followers of their page
- Posts that average 400-500 likes and 40 to 90 shares (that’s serious visibility)
- 139 5-star reviews on Facebook in ONE MONTH
- 5 reviews on Google for a 4.8 rating
There are only about 5 places in town that specialize in ice cream, but even taking a look at a Google search for “ice cream Buffalo MN” you can see that What’s The Scoop is in the top spot in the local pack and has great organic visibility with their Facebook page and review stars.
2 – Nail Salons Clip Their Website
When starting to write this post I reached out on Twitter for examples of other businesses using Facebook and passing on having a website. Darren Shaw responded that nail salons were a category he often sees doing this. I made two Google searches and had two examples.
KE Nails came up when I searched “south Minneapolis nail salon”. They were the 2nd local pack result in a much stronger field of competition. Almost all of Google’s page 1 results for this term are directory pages for sites like Yelp, YP.com and Angies List. Two results were SMB websites and 1 result was another nail salons Facebook page.
KE Nails using their Facebook page, without a website still has many trust factors and ways to land new customers.
- 20 Facebook Reviews for a 4.8 star rating
- 250 people following them on Facebook
- 36 Google Reviews for a 4-star rating
KE Nails isn’t very active on Facebook. You can see in 2016 they put in some effort with Facebook and Instrgram posts, but haven’t done much in 2017. Even with little effort, they rank.
My second nail salon example is from a search for “robbinsdale nail salon”. Robbinsdale is a small city just outside of Minneapolis.
Dragon Nails has the top spot in the map pack and also has their Facebook page in the organic results. Their SERP results highlights their 22 Facebook reviews with a 4.1 rating.
Their competitor does have their Yelp profile in the organic results as well, but these two profiles are far different. The biggest two differences is you can’t build a following or update your Yelp profile like a Facebook page.
3- Want the latest info? It’s on Facebook
My last example is a bit different than the earlier examples. Spilled Grain Brewhouse in Annandale, MN has had a website for the past 3 years, but they have always had a just a one page site that tells people to visit Facebook for their latest news. They update their Facebook page weekly with the latest beers, what food trucks might be visiting, specials, photos and more.
They maximize the events feature on Facebook as well.
In the last month or so they have added they will be releasing a new website, but when I saw this years ago it made sense.
- Facebook was an easier to use CMS than any web platform out there.
- Their customer base was likely 90% on Facebook. They could worry about that 10% or they could deliver solid updates to the majority.
Their Facebook page shows off their strong audience and engagement.
- Over 5,000 following the brewery
- 180 Facebook reviews with a 4.8-star rating
- Over 6,400 have checked-in on Facebook
More Than “Likes”
The point of all of this is that Facebook continues to offer a LOT for small businesses. A way to connect with consumers, get feedback, instant message, post news, events and even take the place of their website. Even with Google rolling out their simple web page builder, Facebook is still miles ahead.
I’ll be watching if SMBs continue to dump the complexity for the simplicity of Facebook.