As a small business owner, I totally understand having to watch where every penny is spent. You may be thinking “Why do I need a website when everyone will see my Facebook page anyway?”. The potential to reach a larger audience without a lot of effort or expense is a big draw to Facebook. But unless you are cranking out great content at a consistent and rapid pace, buying ads, and tracking your stats, you will not continue to grow a following and chances are most people won’t even know you are there.
Let’s look at a few differences between Facebook and having your own website:
While a Facebook page is free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up, it is not yours to do with as you please. Facebook constricts the design and you can only brand your business to a certain extent. You are subject to their rules and regulations, and lately maybe even censorship. (Depending on who/what you believe.)
With a WordPress website, you own it. Choose a layout that is right for you, brand your business as you wish, and say whatever you want.
Protecting Your Online Presence
With Facebook you have no control over the conversation. Everyone has a voice and can share your posts with everyone else. Which normally is a good thing, but it can be a problem when unfair or inaccurate statements appear with a post from your page. Facebook encourages reviews, but anyone can review your business, even if you have never met them or provided them a service.
Your website should be the center of your online presence. Social media platforms are the roads that lead to your main place of business, your website. A website gives you more credibility as a business and allows you to control the conversation. You can set up the options to accept reviews and comments or deny them.
Understanding Your Audience
Facebook breaks down active user behavior, daily active users, new likes, unlikes, and external referrers, demographics, page, and tab views. Your page visitors are limited to the people on Facebook. The average Facebook user is 40.5 years old, however users 65 and older are the fastest-growing group. Is that your target audience?
Google Analytics (GA) goes a lot further in detailed reporting and your website is not limited to who is on Facebook. GA show age, gender, interests, device, browser type, and location of your audience, and other stats. It will help you understand why visitors are clicking away from your site so you can make changes as needed. You can set goals within Google Analytics and track activity to see if you meet your goals. This is all free with no need to buy ads.
More people are moving away from Facebook due to the political climate of our country, along with several other reasons. Whose to say that someday Facebook will not go the way of MySpace? MySpace went from the most visited website in the world in 2006 to losing 10 million unique users in just one month in 2011. (Source: searchenginejournal.com) There are other social media platforms that have disappeared, just recently Vine. You can read the Top 10 List of failed platforms here.
When people say, “I don’t need a website because I have a Facebook page.” I say “You don’t have a Facebook page. Facebook has a page with your name on it. Own your own destiny and don’t be controlled by a fickle social site.” Rebecca Gill, WordPress SEO Consultant & Expert
Ever feel like someone is watching you? Well, if you are on Facebook they are! Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in the news quite a bit trying to defend their Facebook data tracking process. (You can read a breakdown of Zuckerberg’s testimony here.) “They don’t delete anything, and that’s a general policy,” said Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of DuckDuckGo, which offers internet privacy tools. He added that data was kept around to eventually help brands serve targeted ads. Which is good if you are a business investing in Facebook ads, but not so much if you are a user.
This got me wondering what they have on me so I downloaded my data. It’s crazy what they have! Seeing everyone in my contact list included in the data is an eye opening experience. Let’s look at how you can download your information along with some privacy settings:
Beth Gautier, a Facebook spokeswoman said: “When you delete something, we remove it so it’s not visible or accessible on Facebook.” Which is true, they just hang on to it though so it’s useful to them. Of course, there is always the option of deleting your Facebook account.
What do you think about all of this tracking? Will you be deleting your profile or do you feel Facebook is not a necessary evil, especially if you are a small business owner?
Have you ever thought about what happens to your Facebook account when you pass away? What happens to all the pictures, videos, and memories you have shared? With a little planning, you can actually control what happens to your account after you are gone. The key is deciding now how you want things handled at that time.
If Facebook is made aware that a person has passed away, it’s their policy to memorialize the account.
According to Facebook, memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away.
Features of a memorialized account include:
The word Remembering will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile
Depending on the privacy settings of the account, friends can share memories on the memorialized Timeline
Content the person shared (ex: photos, posts) stays on Facebook and is visible to the audience it was shared with
Memorialized profiles don’t appear in public spaces such as in suggestions for People You May Know, ads or birthday reminders
Login information is not shared with anyone, even if a legacy contact has been named. No one will be able to post as the deceased profile.
Besides memorializing the account, you do have other choices:
Assign a legacy contact to manage your account – A legacy contact is someone you choose to manage your account after you pass away. They can pin a post to your timeline, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture. They cannot post as you or see any messages.
Deactivate the account– Deactivating your account will disable your profile and remove your name and photo from most things you have shared on Facebook. Your name will still appear in friend’s lists along with any messages you have sent.
Delete the account– The account and all images, videos, and posts will be deleted.
Here’s a short video to show you where to find the Facebook settings to set up your legacy contact or let your wishes known:
Now that you know your options, put in your requests for how you want things handled and choose a legacy contact if needed. Facebook offers a great FAQ section for just this topic.
Ever wonder if there was a trick to getting more views on your Facebook posts? Well, there isn’t really a trick, but you can find out the optimal time to post your content. Facebook has wonderful insights that show you all kinds of stats about your posts. In fact, you can actually see when your followers are online. Simply put, go to your Facebook page, click Insights, then Posts and viola! There it is!
Schedule your Facebook posts for when you have the most followers online. It’s not a magic solution, but it will help. Here is a quick video to walk you through it.
[vc_video title=”What time you should post to Facebook” link=”https://youtu.be/IcC_p5MRibI”]