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Businesses flock to using branded Facebook pages

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: Is your business marketing itself using a Facebook Fan Page?

  • Yes, our company has a fan page – 73.13%
  • No, we do not have a fan page – 12.24%
  • We don’t have a fan page now, but are considering it – 8.84%
  • Facebook is not an outlet we care to use – 5.78%

I have a friend who refers to the presence Facebook and Twitter icons on a company Web site as the “f and the t.” It’s commonplace now for businesses to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flicker and other social networks to engage consumers, and the results of this poll only bear out how prevalent such behavior has become.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that online retailers are beginning to use Facebook for e-commerce, evidencing the fact that social networks are no longer merely a conversationally-oriented medium, but one focused on driving conversions as well.

But, what of the 26% of respondents who either currently don’t have a Fan Page or express no intention of using Facebook at all? I would like to know the rationale. Facebook has half a billion people now using it, 50% of whom log on every single day. It’s growing at a rate of nearly a million new users per day. Do those numbers alone not spell out to you the need to have a presence there?

Paul Chaney is an social-media marketing consultant, sought-after speaker and author of “The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” published by Wiley. Paul sits on the advisory boards for the Social Media Marketing Institute, Women’s Wisdom Network and Smartbrief on Social Media.