If you think a Facebook page replaces a website, think again

Monday 5 September, 2016

 

In this digital age, the first thing you should do after registering your business name, is register the domain name, even if you’re not going to create a website right away. As a consumer, one of the biggest frustrations I have when searching for a business online is finding a Facebook page but not a website. And I know I am not alone in this frustration.

 

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If you’re a business and you think your Facebook page replaces a website then read on.

1. You do not own this channel
If you think you own your Facebook fans then think again – Facebook owns them and at any stage they can change the rules and you have no access to them at all. As Facebook is moving to a ‘pay to play’ channel, you never know what is around the corner and very soon your page might not even appear in the searches. The idea of Facebook is to connect and have conversations with your audience. The next step is to get them to connect with you on your ‘owned’ channels like your newsletter or blog. These are channels you own and can control.


2. Customer expectation
Basic customer expectation is for you to have a website. From a customer perspective if you don’t have a website you don’t exist. A brand’s website is part of your total digital presence, a channel to communicate and share key details about your business and show brand personality as a professional business. It makes no sense for a brand to simply walk away from taking advantage of owned assets and defer all interactions to environments you cannot control like social media. There is no replacement for a sleek website that has good content that supporters can share on social media.


3. Brand perception
Have you stopped to consider how your business is perceived if it doesn’t have a website? If I can only find a business’s Facebook page, I either think it’s a start up business, has no concept of how to do business in the digital world or just doesn’t care about its customers. Most often I don’t take it to the next step as I feel like the brand is saying, “I am not really serious.” This makes me question what sort of service can I expect to receive when I am actually at the business.


4. Limited customisation for your brand
Brand building can be challenging on Facebook. You can include your logo and a cover photo on your page, but that’s where the customisation ends. However you have complete control over how you present your brand and what content you share on your website. This is something Facebook simply cannot give you. As a business, it may be important to have a Facebook page but it’s much more important to have your own website to bolster brand identity and accelerate growth.
Why be beholden to third-party platforms to ensure the quality, consistency, and effectiveness of your brand’s messaging? This is what you need a website for.


5. Content style is limited
Content is limited on Facebook. Every post you make will be constrained to the social network’s format, sizes and guidelines. It’s no wonder the majority of businesses simply share links to blog posts and other pieces of content on their website. On your owned platforms you can share any format of content you like – a blog, a fact sheet, a video, images…. There are no rules or guidelines – you completely control your brand.

These days you can create a good basic website dirt cheap so there are no excuses not to have a website. Your goal should be to move people from your Facebook page to your ‘owned’ channels. You will be sorry you didn’t when Facebook change the rules and you lose all free access to your fans. Facebook is now a pay to play platform so why leave your customers in the hands of someone else. A Facebook page alone is just not acceptable in this digital business world.

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TANYA WILLIAMS

About the contributor:

Tanya Williams is a ‘tradigital’ strategist that helps businesses establish their digital footprint to make them more visible across digital channels to attract more business. With over 20 years experience in digital & marketing, Tanya is passionate about creating more digitally savvy individuals & businesses.
Website: http://www.digitalconversations.com.au

 

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