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.
Take a few minutes and read this blog post by Hootsuite, “How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2020 and How to Make it Work for You”. It will help you understand how to make Facebook work better for you.
In closing I want to share this quote with you:
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
I couldn’t have said it better myself!