I have people tell me every day they have no need for a website because they have a Facebook page. While Facebook has evolved from its initial concept of creating a network of individuals connected by some common thread to a multi-dimensional platform, it should never be the sole online presence for any brand. Here are three reasons on why your business needs to invest in a website.
THE NUMBER ONE REASON YOU NEED A WEBSITE AND NOT JUST A FACEBOOK PAGE
NOT EVERYONE HAS A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
It is that simple. If you look at the beginnings of Facebook, it was targeted as a network for graduated college students. I know when I first heard about Facebook I was unable to sign up because I did not have an email address from a university or organization that Facebook had added to its network. It was only after I got employed by a company and got an email address that Facebook recognized as a viable network that I was allowed in the Facebook world.
Since then Facebook has opened sign up to everyone. I do not know of any restrictions. If you have an email address, you can sign up for a Facebook account and start a page. Still that does not mean that everyone is on Facebook. Those that are on Facebook typically are not there to browse the business pages. Their interest is on a personal level wanting to connect to their friends around the world.
THE NUMBER TWO REASON WHILE YOUR COMPANY SHOULD NOT RELY SOLELY UPON FACEBOOK
FACEBOOK IS NOT CONCERNED WITH YOUR BUSINESS
Facebook’s main loyalty is to its shareholders and unless you own a majority share then they probably will not listen to your cool new idea. This means that at any time Facebook can change the rules, layout, mission, focus, etc. on THEIR website / your Facebook page. Facebook will not care if any changes hurts your business if it puts more to the bottom line and makes them more profitable. Don’t think that will happen? Remember Myspace? It was like Facebook. (For those that do not remember Myspace. It was Facebook before Facebook was even around.) When Facebook caught on Myspace died and is now some type of music platform – I think. What happens to your hard work when Facebook loses it cool?
Facebook is network (definition of network – a group or system of interconnected people or things) designed around people liking and sharing their views, feelings and pictures. While this is good for individuals, it is bad for a business. Do you instinctively glance over the paid promotions in your news feed? Facebook spends millions of dollars investing in the user experience and developing ways to keep you on the site. While again good for an individual, bad for business. There are thousands of pages on any given subject matter on Facebook and their main concern is to promote those that spend money. With the exception of a few pictures and a few lines of context what separates any page from another page? Each and every page has the same layout and the same basic information. A fashion metaphor – It’s hard to stand out from the others when everyone is wearing the same outfit and you can only accessorize.
THE THIRD REASON YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A WEBSITE
“LET ME LOOK THAT UP ON FACEBOOK” – SAID BY NO ONE EVER
While I do not claim to know you or anyone else’s search habits, I can make a very educated guess that Facebook is not where the majority of the population start their search for information. Last I checked Facebook was not one of the options for your preferred search engine when setting up your browser, phone, or tablet. The majority of the population turn to one of the two search engine giants, Google or Bing. While both do index Facebook pages it will be years before Facebook pages consistently appear number one in search rankings. And then you run into the problem that you must be sign into Facebook to view the page content.
According to Wikipedia – A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs).
When a search engine stores a Facebook page it does so by placing it first under the Facebook.com domain and then sub-categorizes your information. Why does this happen? Because your Facebook page has an address structure of www.facebook.com/(your-page-name or id). This tells the search engine that the page is a small part of the bigger Facebook.com domain. However, if you have your own website then your address structure is similar to www.example.com and the page will be stored under example.com. This automatically puts your brand on the same competition level as Facebook, not a sub-page of Facebook.
Facebook is great for marketing your business but will never replace a website. By relying on a Facebook page to be your online presence you limit your audience. A website provides a solid starting foundation for any business to grow an online presence by:
- Providing access to your information to anyone on the internet. No sign up required.
- Providing a stable platform for any business/brand to showcase their assets without the constant fear of platform changes.
- Makes it easier for your clients to find you.