Should I create a microsite or Facebook fanpage for my campaign?

With more than 500 million users on Facebook, some are saying that the death of microsites is looming. However, not every campaign is suitable for Facebook and microsites still have some legitimacy. Let’s have a look at each platform.

Microsites have a number of advantages.

1. You’re in full control of your data: with an analytics tool, you can see where your users come from, how long they stay on your site and so on. This is an important point, because with Facebook, you never really “own” a community via a Facebook page, you only use Facebook as a tool to organize it. In other words, if Facebook shuts down tomorrow, your database of potential customers disappears with it.

2. Microsites make sense for a number of industries. For example, if your campaign concerns a pharmaceutical product or a financial service, then you will want to regulate content and consumer engagement. Imagine you want to create a Facebook page for a new medicine: what happens when negative comments or spam are posted on the wall? What to do then? Microsites allow you to control interaction and minimize these problems.

3. A microsite is also good if you have a lot of cash. Let’s face it, if your campaign is going to be groundbreaking and transforming your brand image in the process, then build a microsite without hesitation.

So, the microsite is not dead…yet. However, Facebook pages are increasingly popular for campaigns and here’s why:

1. We’ve mentioned that microsites made sense in certain industries. The same holds for Facebook pages. Facebook pages can be very effective for small businesses: for example, if you own a small restaurant, a Facebook page will be more appropriate than a microsite. Microsites require a lot of time and investment: because you start a new site from scratch, it will be hard to be found on a search engine unless you spend a great amount of time doing link building, search engine optimisation, etc. By building a Facebook page, you will save on web development costs, building a customer relationship management database, etc.

2. A global brand like Nissan decided to move its microsite campaign to a Facebook page because users are more willing to engage with the brand on the Facebook page. With Facebook, you can give your brand a voice: engaging and spreading your brand story will be as easy as…a status update or sharing some pictures!

3. Facebook comes with ready-to-use tools and applications which makes it quick and easy to create a campaign. You will be able to integrate some third-party applications with your Facebook page, such as Foursquare or Flickr. That way, you can give a coherent brand image to your customers and allow for more interaction.

To conclude, both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. On Facebook, content can get lost within the multiple tabs, users can get distracted via chat or notifications but on the other hand, interaction is Facebook’s forté. As for the microsite, it can be a very expensive investment but if you’re in a certain industry and want to control your data from day one, then it can be the right call.

Whichever platform you decide to go for, remember that it is only through a clear advertising or marketing strategy that your campaign will be successful: defining what you want to achieve with your campaign should be your first priority.

So, which platform convinces you the most: Facebook page or microsite? Share your thoughts below!