Getting traffic to any business website takes a lot work, and with around 2.07 billion people worldwide logging into Facebook — some all day long everyday — you might be asking yourself "Why bother with a website when I can tap into traffic faster and easier with a Facebook page?" It’s a good question many small business owners are asking themselves and some have even taken action, running their entire web presence from a Facebook page. You might end up ditching your website, but before you do, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of your business being exclusively on Facebook.
Why Choose a Facebook Page Over a Website?
Unlike a website that involves costs and maintenance, Facebook pages are totally free to setup. Everything’s done for you so you don’t need to buy a domain name and you don’t need to hire a web designer to make the page look good. Facebook pages also come with:
- Insights that give you useful marketing data about the people interacting with your page
- Public and private tools that make communicating with customers and clients easy
- Interactive customer reviews
- Indexing in Google and other major search engines
- Free post scheduling
You can also create inexpensive ads for display specified to your target market. Called the Ad Manager, the service within your Facebook account has all the tools necessary to do depth research about the people most likely to buy your products or services. So for example, say you market your clothing store in a Facebook page. To reach potential customers, you can set up ads so that different segments of your market, say men and women, see ads appropriate for them. Also, using pixels — a small snippet of code provided by Facebook — lets you retarget people who interacted with your page or ads at one time or another but didn’t take action, the idea being that if they see your ads again, they’re more likely to take action the second time around.
Drawbacks of a Facebook-Only Strategy
Facebook has its limitations, so ideally, you want to use the social media site as just one part of your marketing strategy. Here’s why:
- Facebook’s algorithm gives preference to pages users interact with regularly — so the people who Like your page still may not see your posts.
- You can’t create a brand experience for your customers that can outshine the Facebook brand.
- Pages have room to display contact details, but limited space means you might not get to share all of the valuable information your customers need.
- You don’t have full control over who you contact and when — Facebook doesn’t share your fans personal contact details with you.
The Benefits of Having a Business Site
While it’s a good idea to have a Facebook page, having your own website gives you control that third-party platforms, such as Facebook, can’t. For example, you can use your website to collect email addresses and build an email list. This way, you have access to your customers no matter what happens to Facebook. Other benefits of having your own website include:
- Being able to use search engine optimization strategies to drive organic traffic to your site
- Creating and running promotions and contests without following Facebook’s rules
- Developing a complete branding strategy
Overall, Facebook is a great platform for business owners to reach thousands of potential customers and clients where they are, but that doesn’t mean you should skip having a website altogether. Instead, create a simple, cost-effective site and use it alongside your Facebook page for maximum exposure.