I’m often asked what is better for a business to have, a Facebook page or a website? The answer isn’t really a simple yes or no, there are many factors involved that can have an effect on your decision. Below I explain some of the pros and cons of relying exclusively on a Facebook page for your business.
Pros of going Facebook only
- Simplicity is a really great thing, and setting up a Facebook page is infinitely easier than building a website (or even hiring someone else to do the work for you). You will be up and running in minutes instead of days (or months).
- Facebook is literally massive, with over 1.5 billion active users, so the chances of someone finding your page are very high.
- Facebook makes it very easy for users to share your content to other Facebook users, allowing even more people to see what your business is all about.
- Facebook is completely free and there are no signs that they plan on charging businesses to have a Facebook page anytime soon.
- Facebook pages are low maintenance – you don’t have to worry about maintaining a web server or keeping software up-to-date.
Cons of going Facebook only
- You have very limited control over how your message is presented to your audience. You don’t like how Facebook looks, that’s too bad because that’s how it looks and there’s really nothing you can do about it.
- If your audience is generally older, less technically savvy, many will not have a Facebook page, making it harder for them to find your company’s page. If you had a website you would have a much better chance of attracting these people
- Facebook puts advertising in the right sidebar of almost every single page and it’s very possible that you will see a competitors ad on your Facebook page. There’s really nothing you can do about this.
- Facebook LOVES to make changes to their site and this leaves users scratching their heads trying to figure out how to do what they are wanting to do. This is frustrating for users and frustrating for business owners maintaining a Facebook page.
- You have almost no options for tweaking the SEO (search engine optimization) of your Facebook page. If it’s really important that your customers find you using Google, you are much better off having your own website.
- Facebook offers very limited analytics so it is difficult to see who is accessing your Facebook page. Having a website allows you to use Google Analytics which is absolutely incredible at letting you know who is visiting your web page, what they are looking at and where they are coming from.
- E-commerce is difficult to do on Facebook. There are ways to add products for sale on Facebook but it can be complicated and you need to pay extra fees the software required to make it work.
- Your page is open to anyone so you need to monitor all feedback to ensure there is nothing negative or explicit has been posted. On a website you can control who is able to post and on what pages so there is a much lower chance of inappropriate information being posted.
- No matter what you do with your Facebook page you need to follow Facebook’s terms of service. If you don’t they can delete your page without notice and with very little recourse to get it back. If you don’t have a website to fall back on, your online presence is effectively destroyed and your customers have no way to find you.
What about a Facebook page and a website?
You get the best of both worlds if you have both a Facebook page and a website – all the pros of a Facebook as well as all the pros of having a website. And because you can integrate your Facebook directly into your website, you can make sure that every single potential use is covered.
A website is infinitely more adaptable and customizable. If you run a restaurant you can have interactive menus, a reservation system and a built in take-our ordering system. Or if you are running a tour company you can take bookings or deposits online, instantly and easily. None of these things can be done on a Facebook page.
And if you’re interested in starting an online store, there’s pretty much no way to run your business from a Facebook. It is possible to post products for sale on Facebook but it’s not a free service and there are many limitations that you don’t have on a full fledged website.
That’s why we always recommend having both a Facebook page and a website to our clients, not because we build websites for a living, but because it is hands-down the best solution for 99.9% of business.
Confused, skeptical, curious – we would love to hear any questions you have!