Facebook makes it easy for you to engage with clients online and give them more information about your business and how they can get in touch with you. Nowadays, with all the traffic landing on the Facebook website, your page is also likely to come up in Google searches. So, why do you bother with the headache of setting up a website?
There are indeed a lot of people scratching their head on that one, especially if they are a business owner that is busy with the day-to-day operations and doesn’t have time to spare. So we’re here to defend the website and demonstrate why a small business cannot thrive without one.
Websites are more flexible
First off, websites are more flexible in terms of how you present your brand. Facebook is fairly rigid in what you can include in the page with standard fields, tabs and boxes.
The design of your website layout is entirely up to you, as is the entire experience of the viewer. You can have a welcome video, you can have background music and/or you can have a slick flash intro. The sky is the limit when it comes to how you present your brand on your website.
With Facebook, you are locked into the standard white background theme and your brand personality is hard to portray accurately.
Websites are more persuasive
The nature of Facebook is social. It is meant to connect people and encourage dialogue, whether that is between two individuals or an individual and a business. Therefore, hardcore selling should be left out of the network and overall promotion of your products and services are intended to be a minimum on Facebook as the general rule of thumb.
However, a website is where the persuasion is done. When people come to the website, they are looking for your services, therefore if you aren’t trying to persuade them you are the greatest – you are, well….crazy.
Websites have stronger call to action
On a website, it’s easy to have a button encouraging the next step on each and every page. You can have a link to book an appointment right then and there. You can also have a webcart to sell products. You can also sell gift certificates straight from your website as well. Three revenue streams straight from your website that are typically excluded from a Facebook page without pointing the client to…..your website.
Websites can be tracked
There is also more detailed tracking available for your website, some of the best being free. Ahem, Google Analytics.
Facebook offers ‘Insights’ to your business pages, but it is limited to activity compared to website analytics. The insights will tell you basic demographic information and it will give you information about your engagement and reach statistics, but nothing that clues you in on content, how you were found and how you can better position your brand.
Websites are more professional
Websites are a signal to a consumer of a serious business. Websites convey establishment, professionalism and a general seriousness about the business intent.
With over 73% of US adults online (US Internet Statistics), websites are expected from most businesses, and it is the preferred method for researching a businesses products and services. According to Allurent, companies lose as much as 67% of potential clients due to lack of information on products and services. That means you need to have ample information about what a client would expect from your business; much more information than can possibly fit onto a Facebook page.
The fact of the matter is that a Facebook page has a solid place in your marketing mix, but it is not a replacement for a website. Each medium online has its advantages and disadvantages, but the real power of an online marketing strategy comes from the right mix, not one single medium. You have to pick the places where your clients are most likely to find and engage with your business.
So don’t give up on building a website; Facebook pages definitely have a place in your marketing strategy, but it’s only a compliment to a website, not a replacement.