Facebook should not replace a website as the face of your business
Despite real world results, perception is a business isn’t completely and 100% credible as a real business without proper marketing materials – and this includes a website.
There are several reasons a “real” business should have a “real” website as part of their “real” online presence and not rely solely on social media as the online “face” of their business – pun intended.
First and foremost, Facebook’s algorithm controls the visibility of your content while on Facebook, which filters down to search engine search results. One should not rely on Facebook to be found. Facebook is considered a social media platform and Google is called a search engine for a reason. Deductive reasoning tells me that folks who know you might search for you on social media – assuming they too are on social media, while those who don’t already know you, who also do not go to their local sphere of influence for a referral, will most likely go to the tried-and-true method of a simple Google Search first. Remember, while Facebook pages can show up in Google search results, Google search results don’t show in FB. Google has a larger reach in terms of search results.
Second, A website gives you more control of not only the content but of the visual appeal to match “you”. Every Facebook page has the same basic layout. Take away the header image, the logo image, and the about section, and they are all the same – just posts. Now more than ever, it is important to express individuality via design and a unique selling point via content to grab those potential customers that are outside the minimal mile radius of your home office. Besides, what if they were NOT on Facebook, how on earth will they find you? Even if they “find” your FB page in Google search results, if they do not have an account, interaction with the FB page is limited – until they sign up for an account. Why allow this type of negative user experience?
Third, a Facebook business page is the perfect COMPLIMENT to a website. There is a term called “social media marketing”. It is the art of creating unique content on social media (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn) to reach a targeted audience. But the idea is to use this reach to drive traffic back to your website, which in turn creates credibility with the search engines and thus increases “rank” in the search results. Remember, the website is the “hub” of your online presence. It is the purpose of all other marketing (print/ social/digital ads), to drive traffic back to the website. It is the purpose of the website to represent consistently and constantly who you are, what you do, and why you’re better than the competition (outside of social media), make your sales pitch easier, and convert visitors to done deal sales.
There is also something to be said for the fact that Facebook (or other social media marketing platforms) are independently owned and operated under their own rules. Your account is not yours. If at any point you same something that goes against their terms of service (Facebook), they can shut down your account and you’re locked out. Granted Google as a search engine also has terms of service as does each hosting account for a website, but the ownership boundaries are different. At the end of the day, you have more control of the design / layout / visibility of a website than you do a social media account and in addition, social media was never meant to “replace” a website.
It all comes down to who do you want to reach and credibility. 1 - What branding and image do you want for business and 2 - where do you want to reach your target market? Is your target market only on Facebook or would you like the opportunity to reach them even if they are NOT on social media? Why limit yourself to just 1 type of marketing. Why not use all marketing techniques together in a coordinated effort to grow your business?