There is a song I vaguely recall from a past life. The hook goes, “We love living in London…it’s nice to know it’s there,” and they go on to list the many and marvelous artistic and historic attractions in London which, if they ever got around to them, they could probably visit and enjoy. But in the meantime, “it’s nice to know it’s there.”
A recent report from Implied Intelligence surveyed a huge number of local business sites and found that only 13.6% of them link to or from Facebook and 3.2% link to or from Twitter.
A much higher number of businesses (typically cited at about 50%, and in some cases as high as 70%) claim to have a business presence on Facebook. So why do so few of them do the most obvious and powerful thing, which is link their business site to and from Facebook? It could be that they didn’t know they should do it or have forgotten the password to actually get into and edit their own website. But in all likelihood, it’s much more likely they created their Facebook page on a “nice to know it’s there” basis and have never gone back since.
The “it’s nice to know it’s there” problem is going to haunt Facebook as it attempts to grow into its fabulous valuation. To justify their value, they will have to build huge ad revenues, and the local market is set to grow massively (if the recent BIA Kelsey report is to be believed).
For Facebook to take advantage of that massive trend, they are going to have to generate a meaningful solution for the No. 1 local business problem: constantly acquiring new clients. Lots of local businesses setting up a Facebook page and thinking of it only occasionally (if at all) is not going to be enough.
In the meantime, I’d like to share a letter from Mr. Zuckerberg.