I have noticed many small businesses don’t have a website or if they do, it’s not current, though their Facebook Business page has activity. Which brings me to today’s discussion on why a Facebook Page is not a replacement for a website.
Facebook does provide some user friendly and free tools, but free has a cost. Sometimes that cost is measured in dollars and other times it is measured differently, such as: missed opportunities, aggravation, & loss of control. Let us explore these in more detail and how this might be affecting your business.
1. Facebook owns your page. It is free after all.
Facebook provides a nice way for businesses to engage with customers. There, you can answer questions, promote blog posts, post photos, and keep customers abreast of the latest & greatest offerings. The downside, it is NOT a storehouse of information as it’s time sensitive. With each new post, the older posts get pushed down. There is capability to pin a post to the top, but it is only one post.
2. Design & SEO: All Facebook pages have the same template so there is little to tailor content and keywords for better discoverability. In terms of design, the options are extremely limited on a Facebook page. All a business can do is park its important info and a few design elements such as pictures and logos in their designated spots.
3. A Facebook page is a tool not a website: A website provides a platform to tell your story & share experiences. With a website, there are no limitations for your design elements. You make the rules. Every component, from business info to maps and customer testimonials, can strategically be placed (and rearranged) for the best-possible User Experience.
4. Not everybody has a Facebook account or uses it regularly.
In 2018, it was estimated that 44% of young millennials (aged 18-29) have “unfriended” Facebook. Whether it’s privacy concerns, the fear of having your account canceled or perceptions that it’s for the older generation, the fact is not everyone uses Facebook which means you need to be concerned with #5.
A Major Purchase Shopper Study by GE Capital revealed 81% of shoppers do online research before making a purchase, with 60% going directly to the retailer's website to check out various product details or information about the business, such as warranty, pricing, availability, information about the services. A standard Facebook page that looks like everyone else's Facebook page does not give a good idea of what your business is about or make it easy to find information before purchasing your product or service.
Keep your Facebook page live, active, and part of your social media strategy.
However, you should not be putting all your “on-line” eggs into the Facebook basket. You need a website that you control with content that you own.
Bottom line: Every business needs its own website. And it should do more than simply show the world that you exist. Be sure it reflects your values, showcases your culture, keeps in touch with your customers and helps you reach your company's financial goals.