This is a question that comes up often- if you are a small business, is a social media profile enough for your brand and business to take off, and/or maintain your internet presence?
While this approach may be budget friendly, there are some serious drawbacks which is why we advise against it. At first glance, the benefits are evident: it costs almost nothing, is easy to update, lead generation is speedy, and it offers high levels of engagement with your customers and community. If you get all that, why go for an entire website? We’ve compiled quick list to make the case that social media is a good way to drive people to your site, but not a great replacement for a website.
- The functionality you get from social media platforms such as Facebook may not be enough for your small business, especially if you plan to make it a sales channel and need an e-commerce component.
- Potential customers will be eager to judge you based on your website, and look to it in order to build trust in your brand. Not having one may work against you.
- There is an often cited problem with using Facebook as your main point of contact with customers and the general public: you are pouring resources into creating a maintaining a page, which in effect does not belong to you. You’re ‘renting’ that space. Read on to see exactly what this implies.
- Facebook can switch up their algorithm at any point. This means that maybe today most of your fans see your posts, but tomorrow 1% of your entire following will see your updates, unless you pay for Facebook Ads. Your page could be removed, the layout changed drastically, features altered etc.. Facebook is also running a business and will do things that suit them at any given moment.
- Who says Facebook is going to be around forever? It’s only hot until another platform becomes hotter and takes its place. Don’t out all your eggs in one basket.
- Could your page disappear along with all the content you’ve worked hard to generate, your followers, your analytics? Yes.
A website gives you control over display, layout, content, and most of all it gives you a chance for your very own website to appear in search results when people want to find you. Search Engines do return Facebook pages as search results (provided they are well optimised), but ultimately you want to be in control of your web presence. However it is of course important to get social media right, but it is a complement to your website, not a replacement. Both must work well together.
Wondering how on earth you’ll build a website from scratch and on a budget? Next week we’ll walk you through some of your choices!