Most small businesses owners recognize that, in this digital era, they need an online presence. But some struggle with whether they need an actual website of their own or whether a Facebook page is enough. It’s a fair question. If you’re not technically savvy, creating a website seems a lot more daunting than spending a few minutes whipping up a Facebook page, a platform we’re all familiar with.
But while having a Facebook page in addition to a website might be a good idea, you should never forgo your own space on the web for a social media page. Here are six reasons why.
1. You don’t have the time and money for upkeep.
Facebook is a platform that thrives on constant posting; there’s nothing worse than heading to a business’s Facebook page just to see that their last post was from 2015. Creating witty content and visually appealing posts can become time consuming really quickly.
And that is, of course, assuming that anyone sees your posts to begin with. Facebook limits pages’ organic reach; as few as 2 percent of your page’s followers could be seeing that content you spent hours putting together. As the number of people who engage with your posts drops, Facebook limits exposure even more, and recent changes mean that the company is focusing more on updates from friends and family and less on brands. Without putting a decent chunk of advertising spend behind your posts, you’re likely spending your time talking to an empty audience.
2. You won’t be taking full advantage of SEO.
While Facebook pages do get found by Google, you’re limited by how much information you can include on your page. With your own website, you can create content and use keywords that your target audience is searching for, increasing the chances you’ll show up highly in searches. Using a local Top-Level Domain like .biz also adds an extra element of built-in SEO; you’re letting Google know that you’re a business, making it more likely that you’ll show up in the results pages you want.
3. You can’t give all of the information people are looking for.
You can include basic information, like hours of operation, on Facebook. But you might want to also provide customers with a price list, let them view a menu, show off your events space, or provide your backstory about why you’re so passionate about the field you’re in. With your own website, you can include all of the information customers are looking for. On Facebook? Not so much.
4. You’re not in charge of your brand.
It might feel like your own page, but ultimately, Facebook owns the platform. At any given time, they can remove features, redesign the look of your page, or change their algorithms, affecting how you connect with customers (see above). You’re never fully in control. On a website, however, you can give customers the full brand experience and tailor it to how you see fit.
5. You’re limited on what kind of content you can provide.
Facebook posts are useful for a few quick and dirty sentences at most. If you want to delve into anything longer or more creative, however, you are limited on what you can showcase. On your own site, you can get create about what — and how — you showcase content.
6. You don’t look as professional.
The look and feel of a Facebook page just isn’t the same as what you can do on a website, even on a single-page site. There’s something about a well-polished site and your own URL that lends an air of credibility that a Facebook page just can’t match.
Should you have a Facebook page? If it helps you meet business objectives, yes. But should you do it at the expense of your own spot on the web? Absolutely not.