Yesterday's post Do Small Businesses Still Need a Website? generated more traffic and emails than usual. The general consensus from the feedback is that despite the growth of social media, having a traditional website is still a good idea.
But the responses got me wondering if I correctly framed the issue.
We've noticed a steady increase in the number of small businesses using Facebook as their primary or exclusive website. They are doing this because it's cheap, easy and their customers are on Facebook.
The chart below, from eMarketer, illustrates this trend.
What is interesting about this data is not that 67% of the respondents are using Facebook to drive traffic to their site; it's that a large percentage are planning on conducting business on Facebook instead of driving traffic to their traditional site.
So the right question may not be "Do small businesses still need a traditional website?", but rather "Is Facebook becoming the only website a small business needs?"