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Has the Facebook Page replaced The Web Site in India?



Brands are investing more and more on managing, maintaining and beautifying their Facebook Page!
The main focus has shifted from The Web Site, which was always the primary destination of the Brand.
TwitterLinkedInPinterestYouTube or Blogs do help to increase goodwill of the brand and be present across all the touch-points, but Facebook has emerged as the clear winner at least in the past 2 years.
Possible Reasons: More Interactivity, Loyal Fan Base, Information Dissemination, Real-time Feedback and Insights.
  • More Interactivity: Fans can talk to the Brand, ask their queries, respond freely to the posts, complain about the product/service, and live the Brand Experience.
  • Loyal Fan Base: As Facebook says, the Fans are here to "Like" the Brand Page for many reasons, right from getting free samples or waiting for product/service info or connecting with the brand ambassadors or playing interesting contests or supporting the Brand's values.
  • Information Dissemination: Product Launches (KTM in India launched on Facebook and NOT its WebSite), Latest Collections (Wills Lifestyle), Sale, Company Information, Grievance Redressal, etc can be done quickly and with ease.
  • Real-Time Feedback & Insights: Tools like Polls, Questions, Surveys and general posts can help Brands get Real-Time Feedback. Fan Pages with more than 5L Fans usually have an advantage to get responses to their questions in thousands. Hence the higher sample size helps the Brands get more insights from their Brand Page. 
Hence, it makes more sense for the brands to invest on building their Facebook Page and add relevant fans to their Brand Page. Now with the new Timeline being Launched for Pages, it will be interesting to see how Brands build up on their Legacy, Heritage and a compelling story of How The Brand Grew up in the last 100 years!
In India, this Trend of having an outstanding, updated Facebook Page has been growing! Brands are investing heavily on their Facebook Pages and building its strong presence online. Few brands do not have even a Website till date!
With 41million users, Facebook reaches 75% of the Active Internet Users! With such a great reach, Facebook has become the default choice for most of the Brands. Traditional or conservative brands, who have always distanced themselves from the Internet, also have started building their presence on Facebook. These instances show how important a Facebook Page is in India, and how important it is for brands to get onto this bandwagon.
A look at the Brands with the highest fans in India shows that we have brands from almost all the sectors, industries or categories on Facebook. A recent article stated that the user base doubled in India in 2011. Facebook has also been pro-active in cleaning-up offensive content from its site in India, which shows that this dominant player online pays special attention to the legal requirements of the country.
As Digital Marketers, we have also experienced that Facebook takes special care in sorting out issues, helping us get clarity and be better at marketing our brands on their site. Facebook is often the 1st word on every Brand Manager's list while talking about their Online Strategy and Outlook for 2012.
Many Brands have started adding following Tabs on their Brand pages (differs based on their offerings) : Product Gallery, Store Locator, Samples, Customer Care-Reach Us, Campaign Ad Commercials. This clearly shows the growing importance of these pages. There are tabs which look like their brand-site or micro-site and can be visited on Facebook itself, without navigating outside the site.
It will be interesting to see the shift in power-base of facebook and its dominance on the Internet in India. By the look of it, it is almost certain that Facebook Page has almost replaced Websites in India.
In a few months to come, if Facebook continues to provide the flexibility, support and improvements in UI, it will Replace Websites without any doubt!

If you have differing views or want to discuss more on this, reach me here:

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