Compared the cost and time spent creating and building a functional and great looking website, a Facebook page can seem a pretty tempting alternative. It’s completely free to set up, easy to customise and puts you in direct touch with your customers.
To some cash-strapped small business owners, it can seem like a no-brainer – to not bother with a website and make use of social media platforms instead. Here are just 5 of the many reasons why doing so would be a mistake:
- You need the credibility of a website. Anyone can set up a Facebook page or Twitter account. There is practically no barrier to entry, which is what makes social media so appealing to businesses, but it can also appeal to scammers and con artists. From a customer’s point of view, a good quality, trustworthy website is a good sign of a credible business. It’s an extra check they can do after seeing your Facebook page and before deciding to use your business.
- You don’t get full control over your social media page. If you use a platform such as Facebook or Twitter, you have to abide by its rules. This can affect marketing, especially when launching activities such as competitions, which is where many businesses have run into trouble. On your own website, you have complete control of all digital marketing activities.
- A website allows you to sell. This is one of most crucial reasons why replacing a website with a social media page is a terrible idea. A website allows you to run e-commerce and sell your products or services, which customers simply can’t do through a Facebook page. This is very important, because today’s customers expect to be able to buy and do pretty much everything online – so they aren’t likely to be ringing the telephone number on your Facebook page to place an order.
- A website can be a real asset to your business. If you ever came to sell your business or assess its value, you’d find that the lack of a website with lots of traffic, blog updates, customer engagement, sales and inbound links may hold the value back and stop it reaching its full potential.
- Your website is the central hub of all your marketing efforts. Every strong marketing strategy requires a central anchor point, a hub around which all other activity takes place. Your website can be just this – the one place to which you can drive prospects and where your customers can always be sure to find the information and solutions they need.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a strong social media presence alongside a well-functioning website. The two should complement each other, with your social media funnelling customers through to your website and vice versa.
Do you disagree? Do you only have a social media presence and find your business is just as successful without a website? Please feel free to share your thoughts.