microsite v Facebook

Working for agencies you start to notice a popular tool  – the microsite. My question is, in certain situations should companies be looking to utilise their social networks presence instead?

I recently put this idea to colleagues when discussing Christmas. We have some great creative in store, resulting in Christmas cheer for them and purchases for our client (hopefully!) but instead of spending  time and money driving people to it, why not stick it where the fans are and take the content to them? It helps break down the concept that social media is a silo and allows the fans to engage with the brand and ensures they do the hard work for us by sharing it with their friends and family.

Hosting the content on a site such as Facebook does mean that there are more distractions for the user – chat, adverts, status updates, messages. This also excludes non-Facebook users. Does this make a strong case for a microsite or does it mean that the content needs to be more attractive to ensure the user stays focused?

Does anyone have experience of using microsites and Facebook pages to host content? What are your thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “microsite v Facebook

  1. I think there is always an interesting argument as to whether a Facebook page should be a ‘via’ or an end destination.

    For me, I would say that if you know that Facebook is place where the target audience are active and above all, comfortable, then a Facebook page would fit nicely.

    If the typical Facebook demographic doesnt sit right with what you are promoting or the product isnt something which lends itself to being a ‘Fan’, a microsite would be a sensible option as a destination to direct people, assuming it doesnt fit perfectly on the main site itself.

  2. I noticed FbF had switched with their most recent game for New Look from building it as a microsite to building it as a Facebook app so when it comes to interactive elements like games Facebook has a lot of advantages in terms of easy traffic driving.

  3. I think you’re correct – it all depends on your end goal – who do you want to see it? The interesting thing about social media usage is seeing who interacts with your content – sometimes its not the target market you were initially aiming for.

  4. I can see advantages to both however I don’t feel that Facebook really delivers the kind of customised branding and experience that a microsite can deliver. Within a microsite you have the ability to introduce all of your own custom branding and imagery. Thus you can create a far more tailored and impactfull experience for your potential clients.

    I think the reason that so many companies are choosing Facebook is that it’s easy. It’s basically free hosting, and free back linking across the site. As you already have the links to those peoples friends on the site. Add into that that you have no development overheads, hosting or domain purchasing costs and you can quickly see why people use it so much.

    This of course all falls down for someone like me who isn’t on Facebook. I am totally excluded by many things even now, simply because I am not signed up to a website. Lets not forget that Facebook is just a website. Granted it’s evolved into a platform, but it’s still just a website.

    What’s the difference between putting a like panel or share button onto a microsite? I’m not saying I’m not anti-facebook, or pro microsite, but personally I feel the flexbility to accuratly represent a brand or concept is far better represented in a microsite, rather than advertising on someone else’s website, fuelling their success rather than your own or your clients.

  5. Worthy points Dave, you’re one of the few people I know without a Facebook account so its good to hear it from another perspective.

    If the brand has a Facebook page, I think its really important to ensure you highlight that on the microsite and are able to take that content to Facebook – it uses the best of both but might ended up costing the client a little more.

  6. The answer to your question is yes!
    I found this recently with a new product I launched at work. Our marketing team created a microsite dedicated to the new product, complete with video demonstrations and downloadable materials. I used social media channels, predominantly Twitter and the company blog in this instance, and we received almost 80% more sales queries through this medium than the microsite. Twitter is also a great way to drive traffic to the microsite, so it still has it’s place.

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