Why a Website?
When I first moved to Florida, I began working at a firm that required me to learn about the small businesses in my area. Being the introvert that I am, and since I was very unfamiliar with my new hometown, I found it very convenient to do a Google search of the local businesses to get information on them. I could look up hours of operation, staff names and titles, services provided, and contact information. One thing that consistently frustrated me during my searches was that many of the small businesses lacked an official website. Even worse, many barely had anything other than an entry on Yelp or Google Maps. What I did notice however, was that a number of the businesses that didn’t have a website, at least had a Facebook business page. Some of these Facebook pages had very active content, while others contained bare skeletons of information. These discoveries got me thinking about the importance of having a Website or Facebook Page. It also had me asking, does it matter if you have one or the other, or both?
Does It Matter?
A Facebook page is an incredibly powerful tool for gaining exposure for your business or brand. There are millions of users using it every day and you are bringing your voice and your business to them instead of expecting them to come to you. Unfortunately, a Facebook page for your business can really only do so much for you. It’s like a tributary that lets you reach an audience in a corner of the internet. You create content on Facebook in the hopes that the users will interact with you with a Like or a Share. Yes, it can help you spread the word and gain more of a following, but what happens when people become bored with your content and what are they going to do beyond a Like or a Share? With a Website, you are having your audience come to you and gain a deeper understanding of your goods, services, and voice. The website is also a better reflection of your business.
Many people think that a Facebook page is good enough to meet their online business goals. I have many friends starting e-commerce and campaign hubs through Facebook ONLY, because they don’t want to spend the money or time it takes to build a functional website. To be sure, Facebook can be extremely useful in your social media marketing, but it shouldn’t be the Mecca of your online presence. It can be an outlet to expand the voice of your brand, but it is limited in its functionality, originality, and customization when it comes to representing your business. Many people are on Facebook, but that may not always be the case. In five, ten, twenty years it may be gone with another social media platform to take its place. A website is a bit more flexible. It can be customized to reflect your brand and your business while allowing it to stand out above the crowd. A website can utilize SEO to gain an organic reach even more successfully than Facebook. A website also keeps the ownership in your hands, while a Facebook page is bound to the whims, wishes and rules of that company. If you want your business to have a sense of professionalism and uniqueness, than a Website is what you need in the long run. A Facebook page should simply be one of your tools of exposure on the internet.