compIts become painfully obvious: Facebook has become a work around for static web sites. Whether theres no date in site for a much needed redesign or your current functionality has been outpaced by reality, creating a place to put content in Facebook has made it the great new world. Here’s five quick reasons why:

1. Dynamic Content Social media – especially Facebook – is known for its moving parts. It becomes a living entity, not just static content on a web page. If your web site doesnt currently offer this, you may feel compelled to move into the Facebook sphere to engage your audience as a quick fix.

2. Interactivity Comments, posts, links, pictures, video. You name it, you can probably add it to Facebook in some fashion. Allowing your fans to interact with you and each other in this way may be something that you’ll never see your corporate web site do, and maybe, thats a good thing. Or maybe, its not. Either way, Facebook becomes the repository for interactivity in many¬† companies. Probably, because consumers are already there, and Facebook does it best.

3. RSS Functionality If your site doesnt have any plans to add RSS functions, Facebook takes care of this. You can feed news from any underutilized RSS feed (off site blogs, campus portal feeds, etc.) into Facebook. Any activity you take becomes a part of the fan’s ‘home’ feed. Care must be taken to not inundate the user, but can effectively become the active web presence on behalf of your company.

4. Quick Updates Maybe homepage real estate doesnt allow for quick updates or announcements. Facebook becomes the stand in, allowing companies, departments and other groups to publish quick, timely information directly to users.

5. Claiming Ignorance In many universities, there is no formal social media policy. This leaves everything open to interpretation and usually ignorance is bliss for the administration.  Since Facebook is a third party, this alleviates any misconduct on behalf of the university Рto a point. It seems to be an easy work around from the web site for this very reason: it takes very little start up energy, is popular, and does not require a committee or ITS hand holding.

Although Facebook is good for many things, a web site replacement it is not. It is a great lead generator, as is all social media, in taking users directly to key information without having to search through a clunky web site. But, at the end of the day, social media should be integrated into your informative and easily navigable web presence instead of just an inbound link creator.

The web is no longer push and company web sites need to become interactive to stay relevant.

1 Comment

  1. insidetimshead says:

    Agree on all points. We use Facebook because it’s where the people we’re trying to reach are. It’s the difference between taking a hot-dog cart into a crowd and waiting for the crowd to come to your restaurant.

    I think the challenge to us Webbies is to figure out how to take some of what Facebook does well — especially the RSS, easy multimedia (when the uploader’s working) and sharability — and build it into our sites. I know social media is heavily influencing my thoughts on redesigning our own Web site.

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