Compete published a study last week showing that most brands see more traffic to their own domains than to their Facebook fan pages. Excluding iTunes, which doesn’t have much of a destination site, BMW gets only 60% of the traffic that it gets on BMW.com on it’s FB fan page, and after BMW, the index drops to around 22%. The average is 7%.
The only caveat I’d add is that brands get a lot of value from using Likes to push into user news feeds, but I think the overall conclusion is compelling: domained brand sites matter. The purpose of those news feed posts is drive users to either the FB page or to the domained site.
To quote the study:
Traffic to Facebook pages is different than Likes. Likes are cumulative, and someone can like a brand then not visit the brand’s page for months.
I love Facebook, but I’m also a proponent of the open web. I have a vested interest in seeing the open web succeed, but I also think that this study does an important point of emphasizing that brands still get an order of magnitude more traffic to their standalone sites. From a traffic perspective, it’s important to make sure that high quality branded content exists in shareable formats on brand domain sites, in addition to their Facebook pages.
There are 500M people on Facebook, but the traffic stats show that there are even more people heading to brand domains. Brands need to create engaging, shareable branded content on their own sites in addition, if not before, their Facebook pages.
And so it’s about Facebook, but its not ALL about Facebook.