Facebook pages for businesses, big and small, are becoming ubiquitous, and not having one can impact the way your brand is viewed. It serves as a platform for promoting your brand, announcing new product launches and engaging with your target audience. The question many small businesses are now faced with is- Can it replace a business website? In this post, we examine the debate between utilizing a Facebook page vs. a website:
1. Limited features & functions:
Your website is your brand’s identity – you can control how much information you want to share or what kind of a layout you’d like to make it reflect your brand’s personality better. A Facebook page has very limited options to customize it. At the end of the day, your Facebook page will still overall reflect the Facebook brand and not your own.
Here, Facebook wins hands down as it is free to create and you can do so in-house, without employing designers or developers. A Facebook page costs relatively less to maintain than a website that might need regular updation in the course of time. It’s much easier to update the Facebook page, and you can choose the kinds of ads or promotions you’d like to run depending on your goals.
3. Lack of clear analytics:
Facebook pages do have the option of analytics and tracking – however the analytics offered are also very Facebook-specific and do not always relate to your business website. The anaylitics you can receive from your business website may give you a business edge as you will be able to base decisions about your company’s future based on these analytics.
4. Building communities:
When you have a company website, although analytics can be tracked, it’s hard to achieve the kind of community-building that is possible on Facebook. Conversations start being built around the brand, and customers often share great experiences with your brand or useful content and this is possible on a much higher level than if they just visit your website. You could combat this disadvantage on your business website by making it more interactive including features you like most about Facebook’s interface.
5. No control over user experience:
On a Facebook page, you have to deal with annual changes to page formats and the way your information is displayed. Facebook does not usually let you make any edits to the overall layout. Often brands that add third-party tabs and apps to their page find that a lot of them either malfunction or get hidden unless the user chooses the option to show them. So essentially your user experience depends on what Facebook chooses to do or individual user preferences.
6. People may leave Facebook:
Recent trends have shown that there is a lull when it comes to Facebook user engagement – the frequent changes and privacy breaches could, over time, make users move on to other options. Facebook, therefore, may not be a sustainable option to continue your business in the long run. It is also tough to predict the longevity of Facebook as THE social network. There is every chance that a new social site could emerge taking its place.
Eventually, when it comes to running your business, your team and your website are the best bet to ensure that users are aware of the services you offer and to let them engage with your brand. At the same time, a Facebook page is an effective way to build buzz and recognition around your brand and to create a sense of community with your customers. The key to a successful business strategy is to integrate both ensuring you enjoy the advantages each has to offer.