Why have a website when I can use Facebook to promote my business?
It’s a question that many small business owners are asking themselves lately. Despite its current troubles, Facebook has proven to be one of the most versatile and heavily used form of social media by individuals and businesses alike. With its wide marketing and networking reach, and a large platform upon which to exchange information, we have come to use it for just about everything from keeping up with friends to launching business marketing campaigns.
However, what is often overlooked is the fact that Facebook is simply a great promoting tool with which to help get the word out about your business- but there are many reasons why Facebook simply cannot replace a good, solid website to serve as an anchor for your business and help bring in the steady sales. Here are 6 top reasons why your business can use Facebook but needs a website.
1. They’re NOT on Facebook.
Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t use Facebook, so you are missing out on significant numbers of potential customers if you go the Facebook-only route. According to statistics compiled by the digital media agency ISL, Facebook users aged 13 to 24 dropped more than 50 percent between 2014 and 2017. With growing concerns around privacy issues, other Facebook users are dropping off as well. While not everyone is on Facebook, almost everyone has access to the internet and can easily view a website.
And what happens if they have a Facebook account, but are not logged in? Say a potential client is searching their browser for your business and they find a link to your Facebook page, but they will need to log in before they can see your page. Some people don’t remember their passwords, or simply don’t want the hassle of going through the login process. You may lose potential customers who don’t want to keep clicking around and putting passwords in to view your information.
2. It’s a control thing.
As great as Facebook may be, we are all on rented real estate there. In fact, did you realize that Facebook actually owns your content- not you? However, if your business has its own website (a site where you own the domain), you not only own the content, but you also control the design and the way in which content is displayed to achieve branding and other marketing goals. And did we mention you own it? You have the option to change anything to suit your needs at any time. While Facebook may be a great tool to initially help pull in traffic to your site, you need a permanent hub for your business online, where you own the “real estate” and the way in which content is displayed.
3. You decide when it’s time for a change.
Facebook is a fluid medium- not a solid landing page. Facebook can and does change its MO at any time. Should they decide to change their policies or the look and feel of their platform, it also applies to your page and the content therein. Recently, Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize content from friends and family in the newsfeed, which means business posts are now pushed to the bottom. With a website, you are always front and center stage with your audience, allowing you to not only capture user’s attention but also showcase your business under your own terms.
4. There are “likes” and then there are analytics.
Oh, it’s a great feeling when someone likes your business page, isn’t it? But aside from the warm and fuzzy vibes, what else can you glean about your potential consumers from that? Not much. However, if you have a website and run Google Analytics, you will know how many people visited the site, which pages they looked at, and exactly how long they stayed. Now that helps you get somewhere. Using this data, you can tweak your site to maximize the website experience for your users, resulting in more ROI for you.
5. Get involved, get more engaged.
Most consumers perform a Google search on products or services that they are interested in. Having a website allows you to be a part of the results of those Google searches (and with some good SEO, possibly come up in the top three!). You can essentially be open for business 24/7, which will only help your business gain the customer base that you are looking for. You can then use website features like email, chat apps, and contact forms to stay connected with your customer base and further promote your business.
6. Your website reflects who you are
Let’s face it: at the end of the day, your Facebook page screams Facebook. Your business is an extension of who you are- your goods, your goals, and your message. Your online presence should be all about you and your company’s mission. In addition, social media trends change all the time and sometimes without warning (what was MySpace again?). However, a website will highlight your logo, your colors, your marketing goals, and your mission statement.
So, the bottom line is that Facebook is a great tool that every business should use to promote itself and drive traffic in. However, it is in no way a substitute for a smart website that can fully engage your potential consumer, provide measurable results, and give you the option to tweak components as you see fit in order to get the maximum results for your business. And your customers will always know where to find you.