You have a Facebook presence, but do you really need to have a website, too? If you’re a small business owner, finances are limited. Is Facebook enough to get your business running at full speed?
Here are 10 reasons why Facebook can’t take the place of a website:
1. Not everyone is on Facebook
Only about 68% of Americans use Facebook. With recent privacy issues, those numbers have started to decline. You should also consider the demographics of your potential customers when using Facebook. Only about 41% of Millennials use Facebook. With only a Facebook page, you’re missing out on a lot of potential sales.
2. Facebook is a “social” networking site.
That means that followers are reading post from their friends. They’re reading posts from other businesses. They aren’t focused on your products or services. In fact, it’s been shown that many followers will only visit your Facebook page one time.
A website tells your potential customer that you’re a serious business. It gives you credibility. It conveys that you are an expert in your field. Unfortunately, if you only have a Facebook page, customers think you aren’t committed or professional. They probably also think that you’re cheap and, perhaps, not in business for the long haul. Customers want to feel that your company is stable enough to handle their business and provide good service.
Facebook’s platform belongs to them. They own your page. What does that mean? It means Facebook controls what happens on your page. If they don’t like it they can take it down.
Remember My Space? What happens if Facebook goes that route? All of your followers’ information will be lost and you will find yourself starting at the beginning. You don’t own that information. You lose all of your contacts.
5. You don’t make the rules!
Did you know that only about 2% of your users see what you post on your page? Facebook limits access so you will buy ads. Ok, now Facebook isn’t really free, is it? That is, if you want potential customers to see what you post.
Facebook is an ever-changing social site. Your online presence is solely at the mercy of Facebook. With all of Facebook’s recent troubles, its goal seems to be returning to a social network platform. What does that mean for your business? No one knows for sure, but it probably isn’t good. Business ads aren’t a part of a good social site.
Because you don’t control your Facebook page, a competitor’s ad can show up on your page? Facebook makes their money with these ads. Your visitor “likes” your site and tells Facebook’s algorithm what ads to send to your page. You don’t have any control over the ads that Facebook inserts on your page. You may be sending a potential customer to a competitor.
You can put your logo and a picture on your Facebook page. You can make a few design choices but you’re very limited. Did you know that you can’t add a phone number to the cover image on your page? You can’t add contact information like your website address, e-mail address, mailing address, etc. Those are things your customers need to know.
Branding is extremely important to your marketing efforts but Facebook greatly limits your creative freedom when making design choices.
7. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
You can’t use search engine optimization techniques on Facebook, but you can on your own website. These techniques help to get your site recognized by Google when potential customers search for your products or services. Google gets over 3.5 queries a day and 40,000 per second. Wouldn’t you like Google to find your business in one of those searches?
8. Facebook is not a search engine.
Even though Facebook has a search bar, it is not a search engine. When your potential customer looks for your service or product, they “Google it”. A post to your Facebook page may show up in Google’s search, but it probably won’t be directed to the information your customer really needs. With your own website you have control over what your potential customer sees and can help them along the buying process. You’ll make your company easier to find when you have your own website.
9. Showcase your products/services.
Facebook doesn’t allow you to showcase your products or services. With your own website, you can help potential customers find what they’re looking for. You can convince visitors that you have the solution to their problem.
You can see how many people “like” your page in Facebook but so can your visitors. Your competitors 10,000 followers may make your 100 followers seem very insignificant and your followers will notice. Facebook has some follower stats but they are very limited.
With your own website, you have access to much more information:
- What pages or posts were popular most popular?
- Was an e-mail campaign was successful?
- Where are your visitors located?
- How old are they?
- What is their gender?
- How did they find your website?
- Did they stay on one page longer than another?
- How much time did they spend on your site?
The tracking information you can get on your website is almost endless. If you’re serious about running a successful business, you need to have this information available. Why? This is the information you’ll use to create a successful marketing campaign and reach more customers.
This review seems to be a little one-sided but I hope it helps you understand why your small business will be missing out if it doesn’t have its own website. “Free” is always nicer than the investment of building a website; but “free” can’t always get what you need, and that’s more customers. Building your customer base will offset the initial expense of building a website. Don’t let your business suffer because you don’t have a web presence.