If I’m a small business, Do I need a website if I have a Facebook business page?
This is a question I’ve been asked quite a lot recently.
There are a few reasons why you really should be investing in both formats.
Your website is your shop window on the internet, and this is especially true if you are selling stuff online. Here you can control the layout of your products, and you can utilise all aspects of your brand identity across your whole website, whether it be logos, colour schemes, font styles, or links to products.
A properly built website will also enable you to access the analytics data required to identify how people are finding your website, and then tweak things to improve this. Remember that Facebook might be big AD free, but Google is still the king when people are typing in keyword searches.
On your website you own all of the content, you write the copy, and provide the images and decide how they are displayed. With Facebook, you give them a broad license to use your images, videos and content however they wish (until you delete you content from Facebook). They do not own your content as is often perceived but they CAN use your content if they choose to do so whilst you have it published on facebook.
Your Facebook business page is where you interact with your customers, and more importantly its also the place where you publicly interact with them, and them with you.
In real terms, this means that to have a successful Facebook page you need to invest time in it, and this time needs to be invested constantly in an ongoing basis.
You will need to respond to both facebook messenger queries and feed messages in your business ‘tone’ to convey the business persona.
Facebook (and twitter) is now often the first place where customers will vent their frustration if they are unhappy about your business in some way, and conversely this also gives the opportunity for you to respond either immediately or personally via message.
This is where it can be beneficial to have someone dedicated to this role, whether within your business or employed externally, to manage your Facebook/ social media presence.
FACEBOOK ADS and THE MESSENGER BOT
Another advantage of using a Facebook business page is the relatively small amount of money you can spend on specifically targeted ad campaigns or ‘boosted posts’. This too without having to arm yourself with the knowledge required for Google’s adwords.
Facebook ads are particularly useful for local advertising and facebook’s ability to fine tune targeting by interest, location, demographics etc, (and the statistic reports) can make the whole process rewarding for a small business.
And facebook messenger Bot can now allow you to automate facebook message responses whenever someone interacts with your posts immediately, a very powerful marketing too.
In some ways this is where the main difference lies; facebook used successfully, requires your attention each day. Your website affords you the chance to respond in a manner and timescale of your choice.
In my experience many people are using Facebook to discover a Business, like and follow the Business page, and find out some key points about the Business. Very often it’s a local business perhaps having been referred by a friend or via an ad in their news feed. But, and this is the key point, if they want to find out more about the business in detail, or to purchase from the business, then they will seek out the business website.
And this might be the fundamental point - Use your Facebook business page to drive your customers or followers to your website, where the business action takes place.
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