Why a Facebook Business Page Is NOT a Replacement for a Website
As a small business, you may think that having a Facebook business page is the cool new way to cut marketing costs and get in front of new customers.
However, as many businesses are starting to find after giving the Facebook-only route a try, using a Facebook business page to replace the need for a website can seriously hurt your revenue, growth, and credibility.
Although it’s crucial that your ideal customers be able to find you on social media, a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page can’t hold a candle to the power of having a well-designed, info-packed, sales-oriented website.
Here’s what your business is missing out on if you try to cut corners by replacing your website with a Facebook business page.
Traffic & Data
Thanks to the (free!) power of Google Analytics, business owners have massive amounts of data insights available to them when they have a business website.
Tools like Google Analytics and others allow you to track user behavior on your website, which can tell you things like:
Are people finding what they need on our website?
Are people interested in our products and services?
Are we losing people on one specific page?
Are people abandoning their carts?
Are our calls to action strong enough?
Are people engaging with our content?
Other than tracking simple engagement data such as “Likes,” comments, and follows, a Facebook business page offers you very little data – and, therefore, very few insights into how you can improve the way you’re presenting your business to your audience.
Facebook is the land of distractions. From a never-ending feed that constantly refreshes to suspense-building notifications popping up like digital treats, there are countless pieces of content clamoring for your audience’s attention on Facebook.
If you’re using a Facebook business page in place of a website, you’re competing with all those blips, pings, and little red circles.
When you build your own website, you get to control the user experience. You get to decide if you’re going to present video, where, and when. You get to decide if you want to introduce your own controlled blips and pings, such as having a chatbot welcome a new site visitor and ask if he or she has any questions.
On your own dedicated website, your audience only has eyes for you.
Forging a Deeper Connection
On Facebook, you get to put information like your company bio, your address, phone number, web address, and truncated posts only in the places where Facebook says you can. You have word count limits and a ceiling on uploaded file sizes.
Yet, when someone visits your domain, you get to present them with as much information in whatever format and in whatever placement you want!
Not only does this give you increased opportunities to create a true brand experience, but also your target audience will be able to consume more information and forge a deeper connection with your brand.
Since all buying has an emotional component, forming that likability and trust with site visitors is paramount – and can be done far more effectively on your own business website.
Enter the Funnel
If your business uses a sales funnel (and if you’re not, you should be), you need a website to build that funnel out effectively. Whether you’re running an e-commerce business or you’re a book author looking to book more speaking gigs around the country, every business needs to be able to connect with their target audience and nurture that connection.
Although Facebook does allow you to place URLs on a Facebook business page, which can get people into your funnel, there’s nothing else Facebook can do for you beyond that.
You’ll need a branded, streamlined website to take your customers the rest of the way.
Trust & Legitimacy
In today’s world of Google-everything, having a website is a sign of legitimacy. If your audience can’t find you on Google or they can’t read more about you on a website with a domain name associated with your brand, your trustworthiness is going to take a hit.
Review-collecting pages like Facebook, Yelp, and Google+ are great for building social proof, but nowadays everyone expects any legitimate business to have a website. If Facebook is your only piece of real estate online, that’s going to set you back.
As you surely know thanks to all the media attention on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, there are limits to what you can say and do on facebook. There are rules about what you can include in videos and ads, how you target new audiences, and where you can place specific information.
Plus, if you run a business in or even tangentially related to the emerging cannabis industry, you are going to be severely limited in what you can say, post, and share on Facebook.
On your own website, you’re the rule-maker. You get to say whatever you want, however you want to say it. Whether that’s by using engaging videos above the fold or posting before-and-after pictures of your happy customers, you get to choose.
Using a Facebook Page Properly
Facebook is extremely limited in how you can set yourself apart from competitors – or any business, really! Every single Facebook page has the same structure, layout, and user experience, which means your only way to customize is through your graphics and posts.
Yes, a Facebook business page is a great place to collect reviews and engage with your audience in a conversational setting. Yet, even with these great features, a Facebook business page is little more than a glorified Yelp listing.
Rather than relying on Facebook to be the sole or primary online presence for your business, your Facebook business page should serve as a call to action to get potential customers onto your website and into your funnel.
By strategically placing links to your lead magnets, opt-ins, videos, and landing pages in your About section or pinned posts, you can drive qualified traffic to the place where all the magic happens: your website.
If you’re struggling to maximize the impact and potential of your website, get in touch with me. We’ll work together to design a unique user experience that represents your brand (not Facebook’s) and supports you in reaching your business goals.