We've noticed something interesting at CURE.
1. The growth of our Facebook presence is pretty massive. (up from a starting point around 2,000 to over 11,000 at present)
2. The growth of our Google Adwords campaign resulting in over 100 clicks a day. (Courtesy of a grant through Google)
Of course, I expected to see a net increase in site traffic to cure.org. However in watching the trends, our traffic remains relatively flat. I thought, "OK, well Facebook has accounted for an increasing share of our traffic, up from below 1% to nearly 7%, and Google CPC starting at an obvious 0% up to nearly 10%. Yet, we remain flat?
My first initial thought was that CPC was cannibalizing organic Google traffic, (it does,maybe a little > 1%) but the discrepancy was too drastic.
So whats the deal? Then I got to looking at our Facebook stats... Nearly 160,000 post views in a month (vs. ~ 60,000 page views on cure.org) and over 9,000 monthly active (out of ~ 11,000) users on Facebook vs 16k uniques on CURE (out of the entire web).
Then it hit me. Mark was right.
The future of non-profits and likely all brands will be living within Facebook.
Why?, that's much easier, the people are already there. It isn't that they don't like the design of cure.org, it is simply easier to support a cause they believe in, consume relevant up to date information and, in the future, give right there within Facebook.
So, my prediction. In the next 2 - 5 years, the vast majority of traffic non-profits receive will be through Facebook. In the long term, believe it or not, it will supplant the need to have a web presence outside of the Facebook ecosystem at all.
Sure that seems scary (maybe crazy) and is likely very far off. Facebook has a ways to go before we at CURE could even consider this (our CUREkids program for one can't run within Facebook) but with increasing capabilities for integration and just watching the data tends it seems not only reasonable that, at least for this non-profit, we'll be staking a greater part of our future on the support of our base within Facebook.