Facebook Page or Website
As someone who works with small businesses regularly, I've noticed a trend lately. A lot of small business owners are swapping websites with Facebook pages. Once upon a time, both were considered necessary. Now, small businesses want to save the hassle and money that goes with an entire business website.
Can you really swap out a whole website for a simple Facebook page? More importantly, should you go this route? My answer is a fast and definite: no! But, you'll want to weigh the pros and cons before taking my advice.
Facebook Page or Website: Why A Facebook Page Isn't a Website
Facebook is a fun site. It's also a site that can help you promote your brand. Sharing updates, photos, and other bits with followers is a great way to connect. Facebook also allows you to answer clients in real-time, and to post many different things throughout the course of a day. However, using Facebook as a site replacement comes with some serious drawbacks.
Facebook Page or Website: Facebook Drawbacks
1. Control : You don't have any control over Facebook. If Zuckerberg decides to litter your page with ads, take down your page, or deem your profile photo inappropriate, those decisions are out of your control completely.
2. Isolation : Some people don't have a Facebook account. More often than not, people tell me that they hate Facebook, or would never have a Facebook account. If you set up shop just on Facebook, you are isolating those clients that don't do the whole social networking thing.
3. Trust : There's a huge trust factor here. Very few people would purchase items from a company that only has a Facebook page.
I know : Running a website means finding a hosting company, and hiring someone like me to write your content. I understand that this translates into added expenses. But, I also understand (and so should you) that excellent content and a professional business site also translates into a return on investment (ROI).
There's something else at play here too. You have complete control over your own website. Want to shut your site down for a few hours (not recommended!), go ahead! Need to make some design changes? Why not! Anything you want to do can be accomplished when you have a company website. So, should you simply build a company website and skip the whole social media thing?
The Best of Both Worlds
Time and time again, it has been proven that sites like Twitter and Facebook can help your company grow. While you shouldn't put all of your eggs in the social basket, you can combine a business website with a social media page or two.
To make both effective, link the excellent content on your site to your Facebook page and vice versa. This way, you will capture both social media users and those looking for a legitimate website. If you find a cheap or free website hosting company, even better. Just keep your eye on those data limits, and make sure you purchase your own domain name (don't fall for those “free domain name” tricks).
Need more information about web hosting companies and how to start your site? Take a look at these links: