Facebook Page vs. Website: Which One Should You Pick?
Social media networks started with the simple goal – connect people with their friends, colleagues, and family. But, this has changed a lot in the last few years. Businesses have become key players in the modern social media experience. This is especially true for Facebook.
With billions of active monthly users, no business can afford to overlook Facebook. But then, the popularity of this social media platform has led to several debates. One of them is whether websites are still important for businesses, given the traction that Facebook pages can generate.
The short answer is yes – you still need a website.
Below, I’ll share six reasons why your business needs a website as much as it needs a Facebook page, if not more. You also want to stick around until the end, where you will discover a tool that can create a professional business website without any coding.
1. A website gives you more control over customer experience
Relying on a third-party site like Facebook comes with many perks. There’s no doubt about that. However, there is always a tradeoff, and one of the most significant ones is the lack of control.
No matter how much you customize your Facebook business page, they control how customers see and interact with your brand.
You can customize your Facebook business page all you want. But at the end of the day, the Facebook blue will still dominate whatever branding styles you’ve chosen, and they always define the layout.
That means that you will never be able to tell your story the way you want to on Facebook.
Another issue you may find is that Facebook’s centered on posts and comments. If you’d rather run a blog instead, Facebook posts with their limited organic reach are not going to be sufficient.
Of course, none of this will be an issue when you build your own website. With a website, you can present your brand however you want–a point particularly poignant for non profit organizations or church websites. Customizing customer’s interactions with your company becomes so much easier as well. More importantly, you will never have to worry about the Facebook terms of service or algorithm affecting your company’s performance.
The need for control is, in fact, one of the biggest reasons why you really need a website. You simply cannot have enough control when you’re operating on someone else’s platform.
2. A website builds your business’s credibility
There’s a good reason why even small businesses go to the trouble of building a website – they want the credibility that comes with owning one.
The truth is, anyone can create a Facebook page, populate it with fake data, and even buy thousands of likes or reviews to make us believe they’re a legitimate company.
But if you’re deciding whether or not to put your credit card details in, you’ll likely look up the company name before placing an order.
And if you find nothing other than their Facebook page, the chances are you won’t trust them with your money.
A well-designed website showing off the branding and providing detailed information on the company about us and contact us pages would on the other hand serve as an instant credibility boost.
3. Google has the biggest share of online searches
As of 2018, Google accounted for roughly 69.03% of online searches in the United States. Do you know what percentage of searches were made from Facebook? It was 1.05%.
Don’t get me wrong, 1% is pretty impressive, considering Facebook is a social network first, not a search engine. But do you really want to ignore the over 90% of searches done through Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo? Can you even scale your business without the traffic from these search engines?
Having your own website allows you to target and try to rank for search terms that are relevant to your business. Through your marketing efforts, you can increase brand visibility, generate leads, and grow your sales. You won’t be able to tap into that search traffic with a Facebook business page.
4. Facebook terms of service can affect your business
Once you decide to operate your business page on a third-party site, you have to work within their terms of service whether you like it or not. What’s even worse is that platforms like Facebook update their terms of service, and the algorithms that make your content appear, all the time. So the policies that appeared conducive when setting up your business page could change at any moment.
What happens if the terms no longer favor your business model? Well, your only options are to continue with the unfavorable terms or shut down your page altogether. And you know what? Facebook will still make billions whether you choose to stick around or close your page.
Running your own website puts you in charge of the terms and conditions. No longer will you be tied down or subjected to the ever-changing policies of third-party websites. That means you can worry less about the policies and focus on giving your customers the best experience.
5. The competition on Facebook is stiff
The competition on Facebook is high. First, you have to battle it out with other businesses for customer’s attention. As more companies create Facebook pages, the competition becomes even hotter, forcing brands to invest in ads.
Now, you would think that paying for an ad is enough to capture the customer’s full attention. It isn’t. The other form of competition comes from the fact that Facebook is a social network. People are primarily on the site to connect with friends and family.
So while you may get your ad on someone’s screen, there’s always a possibility that they will scroll right past it to watch their friend’s latest post or story. There’s little to nothing you can do about that.
If that’s not bad enough, you also have to worry about Facebook algorithms. Organic reach on the Facebook platform has been dropping for years now.
One of the reasons this is happening is to encourage businesses to subscribe to the pay-to-play model of social platforms. Bigger companies may have no problem with this. They have the financial muscles to pay for ads throughout the year. But for small business owners with limited budgets, running ads round the clock is far from ideal.
So, how is owning a company website different? First, know that getting your website to rank is not an easy feat. It takes a powerful SEO strategy and lots of patience. However, once your site starts to rank and the traffic comes in, you’ll command more attention from your visitors.
Also, people will end up on your website because they are looking for something you have to offer. That means they’re likely to give you more attention. The same can’t be said for Facebook, where users want to catch up with their friends’ Facebook posts and not click on unsolicited ads.
Finally, you can capture those leads on your site. Once a subscriber is on your email list, you’ll never need to pay a third-party site to connect with that person again.
6. You need more than one marketing channel
Lastly, you need a website simply because you can’t rely on your Facebook business page alone. Look around you; every forward-thinking business is taking a multichannel marketing approach. Why? Because they want to maintain a commanding online presence.
But do you know why a company website is particularly crucial in a multichannel marketing campaign? A website is a perfect centerpiece for all your marketing channels.
Use paid ads, podcasts, youtube, Facebook, and other social media platforms to drive traffic to your website. The site should then showcase your products and services. It should be the ultimate place where your leads convert to paying customers.
To help make my point, I will use the following two images – the Facebook page and Rory’s Story Cubes website.
By looking at these images, where do you think it’d be easier to convince a visitor coming from a paid ad to buy their product?
For sure, having the ability to customize the website’s layout, along with the placement, copy, and color of the call to action, would help get a better return on ad spend than if they were to send off users to their Facebook page.
Facebook page vs. website – is this the question you should be asking?
I hope that by now, I’ve made it clear that the Facebook page vs website question doesn’t make much sense.
You should have both, not one or the other.
Facebook offers too many benefits for you to ignore it:
- Billions of active users – likely including your target audience
- Easy page setup – you just fill out the input fields in front of you
- Global reach – Facebook comes with great visibility
- Social proof – people will see what their friends like, review, and engage with
- Great advertising options if you want to invest more money
At the same time, it limits you in ways that make it a risky move to put all your eggs in one basket:
- You have limited control over how your brand looks, feels, and communicates via Facebook
- With algorithms lowering your posts’ reach, it becomes more and more a pay-to-play platform
- Not enough credibility, given that anyone can buy likes and reviews
- Limited ability to tap into organic search results with your content
- Limited ability to collect leads and communicate via multiple channels
- Subpar experience if you’re planning to drive paid traffic to your page
A website is a need for your business. It helps you overcome the above-mentioned issues and provides many more benefits, like access to detailed analytics data with information about how people interact with your site, who referred them to you, or how long they stay on each page.