In February the San Francisco Chronicle published an article 'Facebook directs more online users than Google'.
From a winery perspective, is this true – does Facebook send you more traffic than Google?
Looking at our platform, the short answer is no and it's not even close. Across all the wineries, Google accounts for 27% of traffic and Facebook referrals only account for 2.3%. (See the first graph to the right.)
The longer answer is that it depends on the winery. Some of our clients are "getting" Facebook and those that really "get it" receive almost twice as much Facebook traffic as Google traffic. (See the second graph on the right.)
Our platform is search engine friendly. It auto creates a lot of key elements Google is looking for (in tech speak, it creates a XML site map and auto create meta descriptions, titles, and friendly URLs). Basically Google traffic can come with little effort.
Unfortunately Facebook traffic requires planning, effort and it takes time. (There are a lot of great social media pundits in the wine industry that can assist you with your social media and Facebook strategies.)
Is Facebook traffic worth it?
My gut feeling is that Facebook traffic is higher quality traffic. Traffic comes from either a winery fanpage (in which case they already have some kind of relationship with the winery) or they come from a friend (a social referral). A Facebook friend whose positive comment on a winery's fanpage seen by a friend in their newsfeed is more powerful and influential than a list of search results on Google.
Furthermore this traffic coming from Facebook is probably not a cannibalization of existing traffic. So it's a case of the pie being made bigger rather than being divided up differently.
As a side note Google recognizes the power of Facebook and is now ranking Facebook pages higher in its search results.
Facebook is becoming a larger and larger source of traffic and I bet if we revisit these graphs in a year they will be considerably different. Whether it's worth it now depends on the time and effort it takes and what that costs you.