I was talking to a small business owner last night. They are in the middle of a very costly redesign of their B2C website and I couldn't help but ask if they had plans to set up on Facebook as well.
Right now, I have Facebook on the brain. As you may recall I am in the middle of writing a book called Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley) due out at the end of the summer. This book is in collaboration with long time friend Rich Krueger who is the CEO of AboutFaceDigital - an agency devoted to helping companies setup and optimize their marketing efforts on Facebook. Something they call - Facebook Marketing Optimization.
Anyway I found myself thinking - why does any business need a website any more?
With Facebook Fan pages you can build your own website on the Facebook "Platform". A website that is totally FREE of hosting and server costs, public and indexable on all search engines, with unique URL's for individual landing pages that you can tune based on if they are Fans or Non Fans, where you can host all your video (so long as it is under 10mb) and upload your product catalog with detailed descriptions (and get feedback from Fans), where you can throw an event or show presentations on a Slideshare ap, run a contest or a survey, host your blog or retweet your status updates (or better yet - just use Facebook instead of Twitter). Oh don't forget send emails to your Fans for FREE and if you want to buy targeted ads you can do that too.
With all that in your favor - Why would any business need a website anymore?
Paul Dunay is director of global field and interactive marketing for Bearing Point (www.bearingpoint.com).