This is a question I often get asked, or sometimes it’s phrased as ‘I don’t need a website, I’m using my Facebook Page’ or ‘I think I’ll go with a Facebook page to start with and may come back to you about a website at a later date’.
There’s nothing wrong with using Facebook to promote your business and if you do it properly you can drum up a decent set of followers – and, hey, if it is working for your business then great, but it is important to remember a couple of things when you’re planning your business strategy:
Not everyone uses Facebook – so you could be missing potential customers.
In fact some people go as far as saying they ‘hate’ Facebook and all it stands for, often thinking it’s all about teenagers posting about what they had for breakfast or what they got up to the night before.
I don’t agree with that, personally I get great value using Facebook for my own personal use, and have some success with having a business page for Flavourfy, but hey, people have their own opinions.
So, are you confident that you’re not missing out on a significant business opportunity, by just having a Facebook page? Is business growth sustainable via your Facebook page?
Yes, your Facebook page may rank pretty high in Google search results, but will your customers use the Facebook link to find out about your business and what services you have to offer?
I don’t think so. Websites are a normal point of call when you’re trying to find out about a business, Facebook is where you may want to engage with a business, service or product. Furthermore, non-Facebook users are less likely to click on Facebook than if they come across a website.
Facebook may be free, but is it delivering value to your business?
A great deal of effort goes into making sure a website works for a business: from its design, ease of navigation, call to actions in the right places, to search engine optimisation (SEO) to help rank it in Google and other search providers.
You’re not going to get that with a Facebook page: you’re tied to the Facebook page design and layout which is not conducive to easily delivering a company message and calls to action (even more so if the viewer isn’t a native Facebook user) – is this the company image you want to portray?
Furthermore, because setting up a Facebook page is free, that won’t be missed by potential customers – are you happy that your customers think you opted for the cheaper option over quality?
Facebook has it’s own rules about usage – your content is there at the whim of Facebook and your ‘likes’ are also there at the whim of Facebook and its terms of service.
Remember that when you’re signing up for a Facebook Page you’re bound by all of Facebook’s rules now and in the future including any changes in their terms and conditions (remember the outrage when Facebook announced it owned all your content?).
There are plenty of examples of where businesses have suddenly lost their Facebook page for terms of service reasons: too many likes from the ‘wrong places’, set up incorrectly, etc. – just search Google for some examples.
At the very least, make sure you understand the terms of service for your business use of Facebook business pages.
Finally, are you really going to drum up the levels of interaction you need for your company to succeed or even grow?
The beauty of Facebook is the opportunity to share content; that’s what Facebook users like – they ‘like’ content that appeals and if it really appeals they’ll share it. Are you confident that you can generate content that will appeal to market your business effectively?
You’ll have none of these problems if you build your own website and if you employ web design services and SEO from a professional you’ll get the representation your business deserves.
Yes, use Facebook but to compliment your website and as part of a wider digital marketing strategy. If you’re business is attractive to Facebook users then if you’re lucky you’ll get thousands of Facebook users engaging with your content and not just a subset of friends who initially ‘liked’ your page when you first set it up.
If you want some advice about using Facebook for your business or want to discuss setting up a website then get in touch. Flavourfy can help with website setup and design, optimisation of website content and using social media effectively to drive sales leads to your business.