Don’t Be One of These Small Businesses

Filed in Small Biz Marketing, Social Media, Statistics by Matt McGee on March 18, 2011 11 Comments

According to the recent “Network Solutions State of Small Business” report, 9% of small business owners will spend less on their website, or forgo a website completely, in favor of using social media. (The stat is buried a bit in that page/link.) That’s not all…

In an analysis of that data Steve King of Emergent Research says “we do think over the next 5 years Facebook is going to become the primary website for roughly half of all small businesses that are online.”

Don’t be one of those small businesses. As I’ve said before, social media should never be your primary web asset. It can disappear at any time and leave you empty-handed.

Better advice: understand and optimize the web equity that you own and can control for eternity.

Comments (11)

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  1. Dan says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more Matt. This latest “trend” is very disturbing to say the least, and I suspect it has some validity.

    I actually wrote a similar article for Raven on this topic in January:


  2. Ben Anderson says:

    This is so true. Invest in something that you can leverage social media to build. If you’re using Facebook as your website you’re missing the point of Social Media Marketing. Facebook should be a portal to your website. The company I manage social media for has Facebook as the 4th highest referral source to the website. That’s all social media should be is a way to push people to a website. The website is the face of your company and Facebook/Twitter etc are the commercial/print ad/Yellow Pages.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Agreed! We connect to those networks but do not rely on them because we have our newsletter.

  4. Craig says:

    I totally agree. Social Media will only get you so far. At some point a potential customer has to see something productive like a website.

  5. Evan says:

    This is a great point – social media is increasing in importance as a presence on the web, but it is surely not strong enough to be the sole focus for a small business.

  6. Frank Adams says:

    Invest on your website, people! Investing less money in your website makes your website like an ancient business. Businesses nowadays has websites, if not social media pages, that could provide added income through advertising! I got my service with advancedwebads and I really got a great service with their unlimited banner impressions and clicks for a flat monthly fee.

  7. jon says:

    I won’t bet a quarter on facebook becoming the primary website for half of small businesses in 5 years. In the best case, it will become the store window of half of small businesses websites. Small businesses future is linked to social media marketing, and have to take advantage of this network, but have also to take advantage of real website containing customers oriented features and services.

  8. there is no wonder small business owners get confused: there is so much buzz around SMM, so many guru’s promising instant success..

    facebook might be an ultimate traffic source but currently it just cannot outplay google in terms of traffic.

    of course every case is unique, but generally it is better to maintain website (with a blog) and promoting juicy content via facebook and other smm sites.

  9. Considering how robust the architecture behind the new FB places redesign is, I don’t see too many reasons not to use them as a primary means of customer engagement. The only downside is the supposed transitory nature of Social Media, but really, Facebook is not going anywhere, and before it does there will be a long, clear period of warnings that all is not well.

    With the retooling of the canvas API’s, you can now do anything on FB that you could do on a regular site, so why pay for both?

    • Matt McGee says:

      “Facebook is not going anywhere” … I recall people saying the exact same thing about AOL many years ago and about MySpace more recently.

  10. Dan says:

    “With the retooling of the canvas API’s, you can now do anything on FB that you could do on a regular site, so why pay for both?”

    True, they do provide many tools, but here are two reasons why I wouldn’t want to rely on social media sites for converting…

    1. You own your site, and not renting space like you do on FB? 2. Because you can be cut off at any time?

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