Facebook Page or Website?
We are often asked, particularly in the early days of a new business ‘Do I need a website, won’t a Facebook page do?’ It’s a moot point as both have their advantages and disadvantages, especially when budgets are tight but there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account.
A Facebook Page
One of the major advantages of a Facebook page is that it is free – which is also one of the major disadvantages. There is no doubt that almost every business needs a presence on Social Media and for many that is Facebook but – and it’s a big but you need to remember that you do not own your Facebook page. It might be free but it can also be taken away from you at the drop of a hat and there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it. Zip, zero, zilch, nothing. You also need to remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch – if something is free, you are often the product that the donor of the free service is selling.
It should never be forgotten that, at their core services like Facebook and Google are advertising companies. They exist to make money and they make money by selling the ability to market to a highly targeted audience about whom they know a great deal – you.
It is probably the quickest way to get your business out there, to start creating an audience, a market for your product or service and that is not to be sneezed at. With the best will in the world it is going to take at least three to four months before your website is built and drawing any appreciable traffic. A Facebook page, or any social media account that is well run will help with that so you do need them.
A website is a major investment for any business, especially a start up but if you think of it as a sales person working for you 24/7, it takes on a completely different perspective. A good website carries your brand, your philosophy and everything that is important to you in your business across the planet in a way that no Facebook page, or any other social media account can. You will always be limited by the constraints of the platform, but a website gives you complete freedom. Yes, you need to follow good practice and search engine optimisation does need to be taken into account but, in truth, there is nothing onerous or that is not good practice.
Working with a good developer you will be able to present your business exactly the way you want to – and no one can take it away from you. It will not be filled with adverts for competitors or inappropriate products, it will be your shop window open all hours. Competition is fierce on social media and adverts will be placed to maximise their impact – not yours.
If you have any intention of selling from your website there really is no alternative. Facebook offers a shop facility but it is tightly controlled – and not by you.
The ideal choice is, of course, both. Kick things off by setting up a proper Facebook Business page. Ideally get some help as there are a few wrinkles that a professional will ensure are used to your best advantage. Make it a part of the funnel that will guide your future customers to your website where you control their experience and can provide them with the most appropriate service. Better still if you are working B2B, then pair a Facebook and LinkedIn profile to target your customers in the place they are most likely to be active. Use the experience and feedback from the social media platforms to guide how your website develops but always remain true to your vision for your business.