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Website or Facebook?

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"Which is better for business, a Facebook page or a website?"

I was asked this question a couple of times this week. In the age of social media,

it is undeniable that having a presence on one, or all, of the social media platforms is extremely important in virtually all market segments. 'Should I have a company or business website, or should I stick with social media?' The answer is easy - YES! I realize it's not a yes or no question. However, 'yes' is the best answer anyone with brand and marketing experience will give you, and there's a multitude of reasons why.

To begin with, I'm going to address a couple of points with regards to running both platforms, and what I feel is the best way to use them to complement each other because, when you get right down to it, they are both tools to use to help improve your brand.

 

Content

When you put new content on your website, it's yours - you own it. You own the presentation, the content itself, and how users can interact with the content. Whether it's the typography, images, words, links, etc... what you put on the website is yours display however you wish. Whether it's in the form of a blog post, a company update, industry related, or discussing your niece or nephew's birthday party - it does not matter. You're in control.

Now, take that same content and put it on social media - we'll focus on Facebook, however, the same restrictions will apply to Twitter and others as well. If you take the same article and try to recreate it with a post on your company Facebook page, it's a different ballgame. First, you might own the content, however, you loose the ability to present it in the same way you do a webpage. Formatting. typography, links, etc... are presented VERY differently. Facebook allows you to customize your header image and posted content (so long as it's within their guidelines), and that's about it.

My newsletters I create and post to my business Facebook page look really good on my website, and my Facebook page. However, when using the Facebook app on a mobile device - forget it. The blog posts work really well, but, that's because it's a direct re-route BACK to my website. Which, honestly, is how I use Facebook. I want traffic BACK to my website so prospective clients can see all of the services I provide.

 

Newsfeed Flood

As users like more and more pages, and 'friend' more people, their newsfeed sees a flood of posts. This can be very problematic if a business page they might like is running a promotion. Many users will continually check out websites of companies they are interested in doing business with. If all you have is a Facebook page, and no website, they may never see your post because it's lost in the newsfeed flood.

 

Cost

Well, this one isn't even a contest. Facebook is free, website hosting is not. However, and this wildly depends on your own perspective, the cost associated with a website begins to pay dividends when you take the following into account:

  1. the versatility of the information you can post
  2. customizable presentation
  3. document availability for customers
  4. number of content management options

I could really take this list on for quite a ways, but, I hope I'm conveying my message well - Facebook is a great free tool to make contact with prospective clients. However, a well designed website that provides your products or services, in detail, is the deal closer the majority of the time.

 

Client Leads

If your website is configured to allow registrations, you have an amazing marketing tool - so long as proper security measures are in place to prevent fake registrations. And best of all - YOU own the leads these registrations give you. When a client registers with your website, you and your business receive the email address. That opens the way for Newletters, promotions, etc... Basically this equates to L-E-A-D-S!!! Which is what every business owner wants. Facebook, while it can reach many more people, is a tool best used for redirecting interested parties to your website so they may take advantage of what you offer. While it's true you can pay for marketing campaigns on Facebook, I've not seen the data that proves this to be effective. Facebook doesn't share the raw data, so It's tough to make a determination of effectiveness.

 

Final Words

This blog post isn't just my opinion. While the general thoughts have always been in my head, I did some research prior to letting my fingers walk across the keyboard. Just using a popular search engine with the 'business website vs. facebook page' as the criteria, you'll find a multitude of articles on the subject. Not a single one that I read had a differing opinion. In the world of brand marketing, using social media as a tool to direct traffic to your website is really the best strategy to take advantage of a free service like Facebook, Twitter, etc...

 

Two of the articles I referenced:

Business Website vs. Facebook Page: Do I even need a website?

Do I Need a Website for My Small Business? Yes, You Do. Here are 8 Reasons Why.

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