Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has a mission. He wants the social platform to be a part of our lives, all day, every day. He wants the social platform to be included in personal conversations and business ones.
I am not here to judge whether I think that is creepy, appropriate or cool. It is a fact. And many small businesses are buying into the idea of making Facebook their home base. But is it a good idea? How do you compare the pros and cons of the company Facebook Page vs Web Page? And do you need both?
I believe the answer to the Facebook Page vs Web Page debate is a resounding yes, and here’s why:
- Your Facebook page is not yours. Facebook controls access to it, controls what you can put on it and also controls who will see your content. What happens to your business as Facebook changes the rules? Your business and revenue stream should not be dependent on something you can’t control.
- Facebook isn’t free. In the early days of Facebook business pages you could share content and be sure several hundred, or if you had a large community, several thousand people would see your updates. Not anymore. With the explosion of Facebook pages, Facebook’s emphasis on their advertising platform means you have to pay to convey your message to a significant portion of your audience
- There are too many distractions on Facebook. Your message appears in a timeline, sandwiched in between cat videos, cartoons, celebrity marital spats and political rants. It is nearly impossible to be the most interesting thing in the news feed.
- Facebook search sucks. Go ahead, try to find a plumber, baker or dentist on Facebook. It just isn’t set up for business search, unless someone already knows your company name. Facebook search won’t be very helpful for prospective customers to find you when they are in buying mode.
- Facebook doesn’t get preferential treatment on Google. Where will customers go when they are looking for a product or service? You already know the answer. It is Google. Once there, they are likely to see websites and Google for Business pages. I don’t want to say they will never find your Facebook page, but it doesn’t happen often.
- Not everyone has a Facebook account. I know the platform feels pretty ubiquitous, but not everyone wants to play. And it isn’t just your 90-year-old grandmother who isn’t on Facebook. Lots of young professional have either gotten rid of their accounts or rarely log in. So depending exclusively on Facebook will limit your options.
Now don’t get me wrong, Facebook is an awesome business tool, but just that, a business tool. It is not the center of your marketing. For that, you need a robust, well designed, mobile responsive website which you update regularly. The content of your website can be used to fuel email newsletters and status updates on Facebook, but remember, ultimately you want people and search engines to find your website.
Your website is a platform you control. You decide what people will and won’t see. You set the rules. This is your business.
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