You’re probably wondering if it’s really worth the effort and cost of building a website for your business when you could just create a Facebook Page instead.
I mean, all you need to do is log into your Facebook account, create a page, add a little information about your business, throw in a few images and you’re done.
After all, everyone uses Facebook so you’re bound to attract some new customers right?
Maybe, but before you dive in, let’s go and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options to see what roles they play within your overall online marketing strategy.
This will allow you to make an informed decision rather than simply guessing.
Okay, let’s begin with Facebook.
The Pros of Having a Facebook Page For Your business
#1 Free, quick, and easy to set up
It’s a fairly painless process to get your page up and running on one of the world’s most popular platforms.
Facebook walks you through the entire process step-by-step from choosing what type of business you have, to showing you how to upload images to your new page.
Oh, and it won’t cost you a penny either.
#2 Great for interacting with your customers
This is where I believe the real value in having a Facebook page lies.
People can learn about you and ask questions about your services. It gives you an instant point of contact for both new and existing customers alike.
#3 People can leave reviews
We all love to tell others when we’ve received outstanding service, especially from a local business.
The great thing is, people are able to leave a public review directly on your page for all to see.
#4 People often ask for recommendations from their Facebook friends
We all know that word of mouth is still one of the best forms of advertising, and I regularly see people asking their Facebook pals questions like “Does anyone know of a good roofer?” or “Can anyone recommend a good hair salon?”.
People often respond with a link to a Facebook business page of someone they’ve used in the past or someone they know.
This could lead to you picking up new customers, especially if you have a good reputation in your area.
#5 People expect you to have a social presence these days
Have you noticed how all of the big brands leave a digital footprint wherever they go?
One of these places is usually Facebook and the more places your business can be found online, the more people will be likely to trust you.
In fact, people may think it strange these days if you didn’t have any kind of social media presence.
The Cons of a Facebook Page
#1 You won’t own your page
You could spend months or even years building up a loyal following only to wake up one day to find Facebook has disappeared (unlikely, yet possible).
Or they could close down your page for a breach of one of their terms and conditions that you didn’t even know existed.
Either way, you won’t own your page and you could potentially lose it at any time along with your following.
#2 Unlikely that you’ll get found in the search engines
I’m not saying that stuff from Facebook doesn’t get picked up by the search engines because it definitely does, but when people search for a local business, it’s usually business directories and websites that show up in the results.
Even if your page does get shown, the amount of information the visitor will see on your page is minimal and possibly not enough for them to decide to call you over your competitor.
#3 You’re limited as to how you can brand your page
One of the reasons your page is so simple to set up is because you’re limited as to what you can do with it.
Your branding efforts extend to being able to change your profile picture, header image, text, and that’s about it.
There’s not a whole lot you can do to stand out from the competition.
The Pros of Having Your Own Business Website
#1 You can do-it-yourself
With some time and effort, you can easily create your own website these days thanks to beginner friendly platforms such as Wix, Weebly, and WordPress.
In fact, you could have the basic foundation of your site up in a matter of hours.
#2 Much higher chance of being found in search engines like Google
Answer me this; When was the last time you searched for a business using Facebook?
I don’t think I ever have. I usually head straight over to Google and so do most people.
These website builders make it easy for search engines to understand them and when Google has a clear idea of what your site is about, you have a much better chance of popping up on the first page of the search results where your customers are already looking for a business like yours.
#3 You have full control
Want to change the color of your website? Go right ahead.
Want to add your business logo? No problem.
Want to upload images of your staff? Well, you get the idea.
You see, it’s your website and no one will be able to tell you what you can and can’t do with it.
More importantly, nobody can take it away from you.
#4 Generate leads 24/7
Your business may be closed for the day, but people will still be able to access your site around the clock.
They can look up your phone number and leave you a message, fill out a contact form requesting a quotation or a callback, book an appointment, and even accept payments online.
Think of it as your hardest working salesperson that doesn’t sleep, doesn’t go on vacation, and won’t ever ask for a raise.
#5 A website is great for building your brand
Decorate your website in your company colors, add your logo, make your mission statement clearly visible where everyone can see it.
People love brands and tend to trust them more, think Amazon and Walmart to name just two.
Your site is a great place to tell your brand’s story and it’ll help people remember you.
#6 Showcase your services
I see far too many businesses creating a single “services” page with a list of each service offered.
Instead of doing this, why not create an individual website page for each of the services you offer with detailed descriptions and pictures of previous work etc.
This will build visitor confidence in your abilities and will help you show up in the search engine results for more services.
#7 People can get to know you before you ever meet
It’s no secret that people like to do business with real people rather than a faceless company.
You can create an “about us” page complete with images where people can get to know you along with any members of staff you might have.
This will build trust with your visitors right from the get-go and they’ll feel like they already know you before they even pick up the phone.
#8 Offer people multiple ways to get in touch
Not everyone is comfortable picking up the phone to strangers and may prefer to email you instead.
I believe the more options you have for people to contact you, the more people that actually will.
You could create a contact page with your phone number, email address, contact form, and links to your social media accounts including your Facebook page.
The Cons of Business Websites
#1 There’s a learning curve involved
I’m not here to sugarcoat anything and I know I said earlier that it’s easy enough to make a site these days, but there will obviously be a learning curve involved, as with anything in life.
You’ll need to set aside time to learn the basics like how to set-up the site, and how to get it looking and functioning the way you want it.
Some website builders make this task easier than others.
#2 If you don’t want to do it yourself, you’ll have to pay.
You already have a million and one things to do just to keep your business ticking over and I understand that many of you have no interest or the time to do it yourselves.
If you fall into this category, you’ll need to fork out cold hard cash to have a web designer make one for you.
The price will vary depending on where you live and the complexity of your site.
It could range from $100 to $1,000’s.
#3 The site will require ongoing maintenance
Once your site’s built, you’ll have to pop in every once in a while to keep your information and software up to date.
These software updates will usually be as simple as clicking a button.
No great hardship I know, but it’s something you’ll have to do to keep things secure and running smoothly.
#4 Build it and they will come doesn’t apply here
Build your site, do nothing, and the chances of attracting new customers with it are very slim, to say the least.
Website builders usually make it easy for the search engines to understand them, but they can only see what you put on them.
There are certain things you’ll need to do to “optimize” your site to help Google understand what services you offer.
This is called Search Engine Optimization and something you’ll need to learn to do or pay someone else to do if you want your website to be found online.
Over To You
Even though I’m a huge believer in every business having a website, I hope I’ve been able to give you a balanced view on the pros and cons of each.
That being said, it’s plain to see that the pros of having a website far outweigh everything else.
So, just to be clear;
Should you have a Facebook business page? Yes.
Should you have a website? Without a doubt, YES!
If you have any questions, then I’d love to hear them. Pop them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as humanely possible!