When I talk to small business owners I almost always ask them for their website address. Lately the answer is "I don't have one but I have a Facebook business page." This is always painful for me to hear and not just because I am a website developer. I get it; it's free, easy to manage, your on Facebook anyway and you can get it done in a flash, however, it can never take the place of a website.
Facebook business pages are very handy. They allow people you know to support you and help market you, they can get your brand more exposure, they can let you interact with your community and sometimes it's just be the fun space of your business. However, having a Facebook business page is not to be in lieu of a website. Here's why:
1. You need one professional space on the internet to represent you in a business like manner. Facebook is social, websites are professional. Websites are static giving you one place to manage where people can search for and find correct information about your goods or services. It is constant.
2. The average Facebook user has around 200 friends. Let's assume that only 1/3 of these friends post only once a day (a conservative assumption), where is your carefully worded, business post falling on your follower's Facebook wall? If you don't have a website and are just using Facebook to market yourself, your getting lost in the chaos that is Facebook. Again, Facebook business pages are helpful but they are not a complete digital marketing solution.
“The harsh reality of Facebook today is that only about 1 out of 50 people who are already fans of your page will see any single post you make on your Facebook business page,” said Sam Underwood, director of business strategy at digital agency Futurety. “Long gone are the days of posting and knowing that many, if not most, of your fans will see that content.” WordStream.com
3. There are no applications. On my website I have a place for users to sign up for newsletters, I offer links to engage with me on other social media feeds, I host my blog, I have a contact form. All of these are very helpful. There are numerous other applications you can integrate into your website to help with business processes, selling items or providing data management. Facebook offers none of this. When users are on your website they are using your site in a way that works for them, not you. When users are on Facebook there is a million different things to distract them from your business.
4. There is no branding. No matter what images you use from your own business in your profile image, you are still on a Facebook page and your page followers are still functioning within their online platform.
5. If there is no website there is a question of legitimacy. When people are looking for your product or services and they can only find a Facebook page they get concerned that you are not a legitimate business.
6. There is no SEO. Sure, if you type in your business name your Facebook page might come up on search engines but what about someone who doesn't know your business name? These people will not find you online by searching for what you sell or the services you offer. How do you get new business, new clients and new customers if you aren't advertising via website?
Yes, you should have a Facebook page for brand awareness and especially for community engagement but be careful about your expectations of what revenue this will bring to your business. A website with a Facebook Business Page? Now we're talking. By the way, please follow us on our Facebook Business Page.
We cover a few more reasons on our video below.