One of the biggest frustrations I have when searching for a business online is finding a Facebook page but no website and I know I am not alone in this frustration. It seems to be the worst offenders are in the hospitality space – cafes, restaurants in particular.
In this digital age, the first thing you should do when you start a business is register the name and register the domain name to create even a basic website. If you think a Facebook page replaces a website then read on.
1.You do not own this channel
If you think you own your Facebook fans then think again – Facebook own them and at any stage they can change the rules and you have no access to them at all. As Facebook are moving to a ‘pay to play’ channel you never know what is around the corner and very soon your page might not even appear in the searches. The idea of Facebook is to connect and have conversations with your audience. Then next step is to get them to connect with you on your ‘owned’ channels like your newsletter or blog. These are channels you own and can control.
Basic customer expectation is for you to have a website. From a customer perspective if you don’t have a website you don’t exist. A brand’s website is part of your total digital presence, a channel to communicate and share key details about your business, show brand personality as a professional business. It makes NO sense for a brand to simply walk away from taking advantage of owned assets and defer all interactions to environments you cannot control like social media. There is NO replacement for sleek websites that have good content supporters can share on social media.
Have you stopped to consider how your business is perceived if it doesn’t have a website. If I can only find a Facebook page I either think it’s a start up business, has no concept of how to do business in the digital world or just doesn’t care about its customers. Most often I don’t take it to the next step as I feel like the brand is saying I am not really serious and don’t care so what sort of service can I expect to receive when I am actually at your business.
4.Limited customisation for your brand
Brand building can be challenging on Facebook. You can include your logo and a cover photo on your page, but that’s where the customization ends. However you have complete control over how you present your brand & what content you share on your website. This is something Facebook simply cannot give you. As a business, it may be important to have a Facebook page but it’s much more important to have your own website to bolster brand identity and accelerate growth.
Brands have paid, owned, and earned options which should interact to minimize the cost of engagement while maximizing the quality of the brand experience. You cannot do that in a paid or earned environment. Why be beholden to third-party platforms to ensure the quality, consistency, and effectiveness of your brand’s messaging? This is what you need a website for.
5.Content style is limited
Content is limited on Facebook. Every post you make will be constrained to the social network’s format, sizes & guidelines. It’s no wonder the majority of businesses simply share links to blog posts and other pieces of content on their website. On your owned platforms you can share whatever content you like – a blog, a fact sheet, a video, images…. There are no rules or guidelines – you fully control your brand.
A brand can use their website(s) to play one or more of the following roles:
* Informer: A rational informative resource
* Seller: A specialized transactional environment
* Expresser: An emotional brand expression
* Engager: An interactive and socialized brand experience
There is no place better to explore and punctuate these roles than in an environment that is all yours to do whatever you wish. These days you can create a good basic website dirt cheap so there are NO excuses not to have a website.