So many times have I come accross a small business owner telling me that they have a Facebook page and don’t need a website for their business. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a great platform for small business and almost 90% of small businesses across the globe are using Facebook to market their business, but how effective is it really?
According to Ad Week there are now 40 million Business pages on Facebook. So it reasonable to asume that Facebook is the popular choice and an inexpesive way to get your business online for people to visit. But is having only a Facebook Page for your business really enough? The short answer to that question is a resounding NO.
Let us explore the idea of having only a Facebook Business Page for a while. Facebook Pages has it’s limits. While it is an excellent way to engage with your follower/customer base, granted that they keep engaging with your business page.
But what happens when people that follow your page grows tired of seeing your posts in their timeline and stop liking/engaging with your posts? Facebook will stop showing your posts in your previously-engaged followers news feed and you will end up having to spend money on Facebook Ads to start showing up to your previously-engaged followers.
Another limit you have on your Facebook Page is that you are limited on how you can control your brand. Let us explore that for a moment. You can upload a great cover image on your Facebook page and even use your logo as a profile picture. You post amazing posts with videos and great images and you make sure that they have the voice of your business and that your posts really show off what you sell or what services you offer. But it still looks like a Facebook page and can never give the complete brand experience that a dedicated website can give.
Information on your Facebook Page is also not always available, where on your website it is as clear as day, just go to the contact section or contact page on any website and you will find the contact information you are looking for. People also don’t need to scroll through months worth of posts to get to the relevant information they are looking for on your Facebook Page.
Ask your self this question, have you ever gone to Facebook first to look for a service or a product? Everyone goes to Google to type in their question to get a search result right. If you do not have a website it will be pretty hard for a potential client to find you at all.
So what should you do? As a small business owner you are trying to save as much money as possible and it may sound very tempting to only continue using Facebook, after all it is free.
If you are going to make a success of your marketing efforts then you will need to have a website to bring it all together. With a well designed website you can really control your brand experience your potential customer will have with your business. A well designed website will function as an extention of your values, vision and services. Your website will provide visitors with valuable information and it can help them understand what makes your business unique.
A company website is much more conducive to telling your brand story in a clear and engaging manner. Furthermore, your site won’t be subject to the effects of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm. Relying on third-party sites means following their terms of service, like it or not.
A dedicated website also has Google search on its side. It’s true a Facebook page can be found via a search engine, but it doesn’t provide the same comprehensive SEO control of a dedicated website. This point should not be overlooked. A website enables you to tailor your content to the exact kind of phrases and keywords your potential customers are searching for, compared to a Facebook page that is limited in this aspect. Showing up as highly as possible in online searches is a critical component of any business’ acquisition strategy.
In short, should you have a Facebook page for your small business? Yes, absolutely. It’s free and it’s brand exposure. Is it enough? Probably not. To create the kind of digital presence that is required for a small business to succeed in today’s world, a dedicated website isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity.