Facebook Page vs Website
Which One Should You Pick?
Social media networks started with the simple goal – connect people with their friends, colleagues & family. However, this has changed a lot in the last few years and businesses have become key players in the modern social media experience – especially true for Facebook.
With millions of active monthly users, no organisation can afford to overlook Facebook. But then, the popularity of this social media platform has led to several debates. One of them is whether websites are still important for businesses, given the traction that Facebook pages can generate.
The short answer is yes – you still need a website.
Below, I’ll share six reasons why your organisation needs a website as much as it needs Facebook, if not more.
1. A website gives you more control over the customer experience
Relying on a third-party site like Facebook comes with many perks. There’s no doubt about that! However, there is always a tradeoff, and one of the most significant ones is the lack of control.
No matter how much you customize your Facebook business page, they control how customers see and interact with your brand. Regardless of how much you try and customize it, the Facebook blue will still dominate whatever branding styles you’ve chosen, and they always define the layout. (See the example below)
That means that you will never be able to tell your story the way you want to on Facebook.
Of course, none of this will be an issue when you build your own website. With a website, you can present your brand however you want – a poitn particularly important for non-profit organisations, chruch websites or small businesses. Customising customer’s interactions with your company becomes so much easier as well. More importantly, you will never have to worry about Facebook terms of service or algorithm affecting your company’s performance.
The need for control is, in fact, one of the biggest reasons why you really need a website. You simply cannot have enough control wehn you’re operating on somerone else’s platform.
2. A website builds your organisation's credibility
There’s a good reason why even small organisations go to the trouble of building a website – they want the credibility that comes with owning one.
The truth is, anyone can create a Facebook page, populate it with fake data, and even buy thousands of likes or reviews to make us believe they are legitimate.
But if your deciding whether or not to put your credit card details in, you will probably look up the company name before placing an order. If you find nothing other than their Facebook page, the chances are you won’t trust them with your money.
A well designed website showing off the branding and providing detailed information on the company about us and contact pages would on the other hand serve as an instant credibility boost.
3. Google has the biggest share of online searches
In 2018 Google accounted for roughly 69% of online searches in the United States. Do you know what percentage of searches were made from Facebook? It was just over 1%.
Don’t get me wrong, 1% is pretty impressive, considering Facebook is a social network first, not a search engine. But do you really want to ignore the over 90% of searches done through Google, Bing & DuckDuckGo?
Having your own website allows you to target and try to rank for search terms that are relevant to your business. Through your marketing efforts, you can increase brand visibility & generate interest. You won’t be able to tap into that search traffic with a Facebook business page.
4. Facebook terms of service can affect your business
Once you decide to operate your business page on a third-party site, you have to work within their terms of service whether you like it or not. What’s even worse is that platforms liek Facebook update their terms of service, and the algorithms that make your content appear, all the time. So the policies that appeared conducive when setting up your business page could change at any moment.
What happens if the terms no longer favour your business model? Well, your only options are to continue with the unfavourable terms or shut down your page altogether. And you know what? Facebook will still make millions whether you choose to stick around or close your page.
Running your own website puts you in charge of the terms and conditions. No longer will you be tied down or subjected to the ever-changing policies of third-party websites. That means you can worry less about the policies and focus on giving your customers the best experience.
5. The competition on Facebook is stiff
The competition on Facebook is high. Firstly, you have to battle with other organisations for customer’s attention & as more companies create Facebook pages, the competition becomes even hotter, forcing brands to invest in ads.
Then, you would think that paying for an ad is enough to capture the customer’s full attention. It isn’t. The other for of competition is the fact that Facebook is a social network and people are primarily on the site to connect with friends & family.
So while you may get your ad on someone’s screen, there is always a possibility they will scroll right past it to watch their friend’s latest post or story. There is little to nothing you can do about that!
If that is not bad enough, you also have to worry about the Facebook algorithms. Organic reach (how many people your page posts can reach free) on the Facebook platform has been dropping for years now. (5.2% in 2022 vs 7.7% in 2018)
One of the reasons this is happening is to encourage businesses to subscribe to the pay-to-play model of social platforms. Bigger companies may have no problem with this as they have the financial muscles to pay for ads throughout the year, but for small business owners with limited budgets, runnings ads round the clock is far from ideal.
So, how is owning your own website different? Firstly, know that getting your website to rank is not an easy feat & it takes a pwerful SEO strategy and lots of patience. However, once your site starts to rank and the traffic comes in, you’ll comand more attention from your visitors.
Also, people will end up on your website because they are looking for something you have to offer. That means they are likely to give you more attention, which cannot be said for Facebook, where users want to catch up with Friends & Family and not click on unsolicited ads.
Finally, you capture those leads on your site. Once a subscriber is on your email list, you’ll never need to pay a third-party site to connect with that person again.
6. You need more than one marketing channel
Lastly, you need a website simply because you can’t rely on your Facebook page alone. Look around you; every forward-thinking business is taking a multichannel marketing approach. Why? Because they want to maintain a commanding online presence.
But do you know why a company website is particularly crucial in a multichannel marketing campaign? A website is a perfect centerpiece for all your marketing channels.
Use paid ads, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms to drive traffic to your website. The website should then showcase your products and services. It should be the ultimate place where your leads convert to paying customers.
Facebook page vs Website - is this the question you should be asking?
I hope that by now, I’ve made it clear that the Facebook page vs Website question doesn’t make much sense.
You should have both, not one or the other.
Facebook offers too many benefits for you to ignore it:
- Millions of active users – likely to include your target audience
- Easy page setup – you just fill out the input fields in front of you
- Global reach – Facebook comes with great visibility
- Social proof – people will see what their friends like, review and engage with
- Great advertising options if you want to invest more money
At the same time. it limits you in ways that make it a risky move to put all your eggs in one basket:
- You have limited control over how your brand looks, feels and communicates via Facebook
- With algorithms lowering your posts’ reach, it becomes more and more a pay-to-play platform
- Not enough credibility, given that anyone can buy likes & reviews
- Limited ability to tap into organic search results with your content
- Limited ability to collect leads and communicate via multiple channels
- Subpar experience if you’re planning to drive paid traffic to your page
A website is a need for your organisation. It helps overcome the above-mentioned issues and provides many more benefits, like access to detailed analytics data with information how people interact with your site, who referred them to you, or how long they stay on each page.