Facebook Won't Help Sales -- But It Offers Your Business Other Benefits

"You've got to get on Facebook" is the modern equivalent of the old 90's mantra "you've got to have a Web site." But having a Facebook presence doesn't necessarily add up to sales. In fact, a recent study shows that a Facebook page has essentially no impact on retail sales.

That's the word from PC World, reporting on a Forrester Research report on the value of Facebook for business users. Counter to your expectations? It shouldn't be too surprising, really. Says Forrester:

"E-business professionals in retail collectively report little direct or indirect benefit from Facebook, and social networks overall trail far behind other customer acquisition and retention tactics like paid search and e-mail in generating a return on investment."
But that isn't the end of the story -- there are reasons to be on Facebook beyond direct sales impact. PC World goes on to suggest that Facebook might be able to replace your Web site or other Web presence, which could save you some money while simultaneously making you look Web savvy. More importantly, you can lean on Facebook as a way to crowdsource, such as asking customers what they think about various business questions and making them feel bought into your brand.

More on BNET: