You really, really do need a website. And I will tell you why!
Facebook is owned by an extremely large corporation, listed on the share market. The goal of any corporation is to make money to keep shareholders happy. No really, that’s the idea. So when Facebook promised it would always be free, that was kind of silly on their part. But that means now they are always looking for ways to make money.
And it also means they want Facebook to remain the top social media channel, where they can serve you lots of subtle, or not so subtle ads, and make some more money. In reality, on Facebook YOU are the resource. Making money for them. It’s your content that attracts people to use the service.
BUT, if for some reason Facebook thinks your content is not doing the trick for them, you could be in trouble.
- Your content does not appeal to a large audience or get interaction? Your page could slowly disappear from your fans’ feed.
- You’d like to really brand your business page on Facebook. Yep, not gonna happen.
- You don’t pay for Facebook ads? It’s getting harder to get organic content seen on Facebook.
- A former staff has control of your Facebook page? Good luck getting it back.
- Your page has been hacked? Yep, good luck getting it sorted over the phone (HINT: there is no Facebook helpline).
- You want to take a month off Facebook, hmm, I wonder if that’s a good idea?
- You published an image they disapproved of? Say bye bye to your page, and all your content and contacts.
OK, I know that Facebook is free, and a website is not. But, you could spend a lot of time, and maybe money, building a great Facebook community for your business, and overnight, poof, it could be gone.
I could go on. But I won’t. Though I’m tempted, but no.
- If you are a micro or small business and you have a website, you can choose to target a niche and still retain your fans, especially if you are clever enough to sign them up to a newsletter.
- If your site is built on a good quality theme (more on this another time), offers interesting content, and is mobile friendly, you are on the right path.
- Yes, Google does change its algorithms (formulas) to select who gets shown on a page in response to a query, but in my view a well designed and optimised site has a good chance.
- If your site gets hacked (urghh, it does happen), you have a backup so while it may take a day or two, you can get back in business.
- And as long as you are paying for a self-hosted site a la WordPress.org, you own every bit of content on your website. And this quality content will keep attracting readers year after year, especially if it remains relevant (Google loves good ‘evergreen’ content).
- And with Google Analytics, you can find out so much information about your visitors!
Facebook is part of many businesses’ marketing, and it’s a great platform to quickly share news, interact with customers, ask for their feedback. But to me, the difference between Facebook and a website, it’s a bit like a stall at the market vs owning the store.
Both have a purpose and can provide an incomenad contact with clients, but a website will ensure you have:
- Ownership of your content: yep, you own all of it, and can copyright to your heart’s content.
- Control over changes: so you choose what is released, how and when.
- Unlimited functionalities: from shopping carts to newsletter signups, memberships to content sharing.
- In-depth analytics: so you know what is working and what is not delivering results in your marketing.
What I have found works best in terms of online marketing has been a combination of four elements:
- Business website
- Facebook and/or other social media channels
- Newsletters/email marketing
- A blog page on the website, sharing useful content.
You know what else? At the end of the day, if your competitor has a website, but you don’t, they will look more credible and professional.
Still think you only need a Facebook page? If that’s the case, we need to talk!
Next time, we’ll talk about why your website (yes, you need one), needs to be responsive.