Do you need to have a website or can you market your Michigan business with just a Facebook fan page? This question was often a foregone conclusion for retail businesses that required a purchasing facility on their main sales platform.
However, Facebook is now testing a click and buy button on the network – giving businesses more options. Should these tests be successful, then some businesses may think that they do not need a dedicated website. Is this true or will a business website still remain very important?
The Advantages For Websites Over Facebook
A website has several key advantages over Facebook. Firstly, Facebook users have suggested that they don’t like to see advertisements for products on the social media network. Research has shown that only 4% of users appreciate promotional content on the site. When you compare this to other platforms this is very low and the study found that email, direct mail and SMS messages are far more popular with consumers.
In addition, there are few Facebook pages that appear highly on Google searches when users are looking for products or solutions to their problems. Therefore, relying strictly on a Facebook page means that you can suffer from poor visibility; especially when a third of small businesses have 80% of their traffic generated from search engines.
Finally, with a website you have control. You state exactly what content, advertisements and designs are on your page. With Facebook you are limited to the design that the social network demands and you have no control over advertisements. Also, you are limited on the design of the content that you publish. You can have a long description, but that doesn’t show up on the front page of the website. Also, long blog posts are hard to create and design correctly on the site.
The Advantages For Facebook Over Websites
Despite the positives for websites and disadvantages for Facebook, there is some argument for Facebook being the only online presence you need. To begin with, 75% of users are more comfortable communicating with brands through a Facebook page rather than a website. In fact, to have the same level of communication level on a website, you might have to spend a significant amount of money on software to match the possibilities.
For instance, on Facebook you have an easy to use comment system, video and image capabilities, event management and also chat. These are all easy to use with no technical skills required and can be updated very quickly. With a website it can take a significant amount of time and skill.
Another major point is the cost. For the most part, websites cost money in both design and hosting costs. You could try to use a free website, but there are several problems with these including:
- Advertisements on your website is often displayed, which can lower conversion.
- Designs and applications are limited.
- Domain name is not unique.
In comparison, Facebook is free for everyone and you can obtain the free Facebook URL when you have enough likes (followers).
Facebook also has one distinct advantage: advertising. With Facebook you can pay to have your page advertised to a highly targeted audience. This gives your page a significant chance of attracting consumers who will be interested in your products.
To determine whether or not a Facebook page is all you need or whether you should have a website for your business; you need to determine who your audience is. Facebook is certainly a platform for consumers and not businesses to business, as many businesses prefer LinkedIn and websites. On the other hand, Facebook is a good platform for connecting with consumers and communicating with them.
Yet despite this, it is probably best if a mixture of both is still used to give you the most visibility on the website.
What do you use? A website and Facebook, or just one of those options?
- Examine your audience and determine what they would rather communicate with you on.
by NJE Design