News Column

Customers Prefer Businesses' Facebook Pages Over Websites

Oct. 1, 2012

Mary Diduch, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)


People are spending more time on Facebook, and businesses are quickly following. Now, a new study is showing that users view Facebook as a better tool to connect and interact with the companies they like, sometimes even over brands' own websites.

The survey by Lab42, a Chicago-based market research company, of 1,000 social media users found that 82 percent of respondents think a Facebook page is a good place for them to interact with a company.

The majority also said they feel connected to brands they "like" on the social media platform, but 48 percent also will "unlike" a page, especially if the company spams newsfeeds with posts.

Carlstadt-based Tribeca Oven, a business-to-business supplier of artisan bread, rolled out a Facebook page a few months ago, said Rachel Crampsey, research and development specialist.

Though Tribeca doesn't sell bread to the public and usually gets new clients through trade shows and industry events, Crampsey said the page, which features news about artisan bread and baking, helps build the company's online presence.

"We want to make our name known as a resource for our customers and anyone interested in artisan baking in general," Crampsey said.

Orville Morales, a Rochelle Park-based social media consultant, said it makes sense that consumers prefer Facebook over regular websites. It's where they already spend a lot of their time.

People also crave fresh content.

"Websites remain static. They don't get updated unless some big activity happens within the company," Morales said.

Hackensack-based LiveU, which provides broadcasting solutions to news companies, uses its social media profiles to build relationships, said Ken Zamkow, director of sales and marketing.

LiveU has found that new clients and anyone looking for specific product information head for the website. But Facebook allows them to post news, share photos and videos of their products and get feedback, Zamkow said.

"Our website is more transactional, where our social media accounts are more about building a community," Zamkow said.

Michael Ward, director of operations at Swiftreach Networks, an emergency notification company in Mahwah, said the company has two uses for social media.

In addition to their company Facebook page, they are working to integrate their notification service with local governments' social media accounts. So if a town needs to alert its residents about a hurricane, for example, residents may not only get a call but also see updates on the town's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Ward said social media is the next step in communication and should compliment, but not usurp, other methods.

Source: (c)2012 The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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