I've long wondered why social marketers are so focused on Facebook fan pages. In much the same way that the AOL Keyword was the flavor of the week years ago; it strikes me as the medium of choice for companies that want to appear "social" with as little effort as possible. What I'm curious about though, is the impact.
Twitter, makes sense; I can communicate directly with user and draw them back to a website. YouTube, makes sense; share rich communication with potential or existing customers. Develop something viral and you can reach millions.
Why would one create and foster a Facebook fan page when they could instead promote their own site? Has anyone measured meaningful new business FROM a Facebook fan page or it is simply a badge of honor? A way of saying, look how many people like our business. What benefits have you derived from managing this micro-environment for your business, a community in which users are largely retained ON Facebook and not your website?