Earlier this week I added a link to our MCLE Facebook Page and wanted to give props to the author by linking the update to his Page. I sent a tweet asking if he had one. He didn’t and asked if he should. My reply? A somewhat dismissive, “Facebook Page does bring traffic to site and provide forum for discussion. But I’m not a total evangelist…yet.”

There are tons of surveys and studies about the ROI and effectiveness of Facebook Pages (they do go on) but although Facebook makes it annoyingly difficult to retrieve and compile statistics, I decided to gather some of my own numbers and experiences from the past three months.

How much time does it take?

Setting up a Facebook Page takes a couple of hours. I spend an hour per month at most editing the page and doing administrative clean-up.

We had 94 status updates over the past three months which included mostly links to CLE related articles and all of our blog posts. That averages out to one update a day which takes as much time as a status update on a personal Facebook account — less than a minute.

Generates website traffic

Facebook.com was the number one referring site to our blog over the past three months. More than twitter.com, and linkedin.com combined (These numbers do not take into account traffic from mobile applications). This, with only 158 Facebook fans contrasted with over 1,700 followers on Twitter and around 250 connections on LinkedIn.

Intimate forum engenders community and loyalty

Facebook offers a more personal rather than business environment. Sure, anyone can “like” a Facebook Page but only via a personal account, making it arguably, more of a commitment than simply following a Twitter account.

Although it’s all about the numbers in social media — followers, likes, hits — it goes on forever, I prefer a smaller number if it means a more relevant, interested and involved community. I’ve actually told friends that it’s OK to “unlike” my continuing legal education page after I got the requisite number of fans (25) to get a custom URL.

Our Facebook Page received more than twice the number of comments than the blog over the past three months. The platform facilitates loyalty as many come back again and again to add their voice.

Acknowledging that some of the administrative functions can be maddeningly unintuitive, perhaps I should evangelize about using a Facebook Page. The numbers bear witness.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/4157139157/)