The post “Facebook Page or Website – Which is More Powerful?” originally appeared on the blog on March 23, 2017 and has been updated.
At some point, you’ve probably had someone take you through the exercise about what you’d take if you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one thing. While I’ve never enjoyed those exercises, I recently started thinking about it from an online marketing prospective. If I had to choose between a Facebook page or website, what would I choose?
In looking at different businesses recently, I realized that an alarming number of people were relying solely on Facebook to provide a small business web presence. I would visit the Facebook page looking for the business website address, only to find that there was not one. While I understand that Facebook is free and a great place to start, especially if you are just launching your business, your plan should be to use Facebook as a springboard to having a designated business website. So that brings me to my main question…
Is Facebook Dead?
Years ago, Facebook was one of the only choices for social media. Now, the landscape has a myriad of platforms, to the point where I’ve heard people say that Facebook marketing no longer matters. But is that true?
Consider these stats from Hootsuite regarding Facebook for Business:
- More than a billion users connect with business pages on Facebook every week.
- 91% of businesses have a presence on Facebook.
So yes, people still use Facebook, and marketing there still provides value. The way users interact with your brand has changed through the years, however. If you just post randomly and don’t leverage messaging and stories, you’ve fallen behind.
But that still doesn’t mean it should be your only option or replace a website.
Facebook Page or Website – Which is Better?
The short answer is this: a website is more valuable than a Facebook page. Does that mean that you shouldn’t have a Facebook page? Definitely not… The Facebook page, however, should serve as a tool to drive traffic to your website, but that’s another post for another day.
Here are some reasons why the question of “Facebook page or website” should definitely be answered with website:
That’s right. You don’t own Facebook. You have very little control over Facebook and the rules that govern business pages. This goes for ALL social media sites. They’re rented real estate. They could (and have) change the rules at a moment’s notice, completely altering who is able to see your content and who can’t. It’s their site and they can do what they want with it. If they decided to remove your page tomorrow, there would be absolutely nothing you could do about it. In recent years, it has become increasingly more difficult for people to see posts from your Facebook page, even if they have liked it for some time.
Since you own your website, you can put what you want where you want, and nobody but you has any say over it. (Of course, that’s assuming that what you’re doing is legal, but we will just hope for the best there.) It’s YOUR site, and YOU make the decisions about it, period.
Many regular Internet users prefer not to use Facebook. Some may be concerned about security, while others may just not want something else to take up time. Some can’t access Facebook from work (as a former teacher, I can relate) so you may miss the traffic of people surfing during lunch hours. Whatever the reason, relying on Facebook as your only Internet marketing strategy automatically discounts a large part of the online population. Not being on Facebook doesn’t mean these people would not visit your website.
Have you ever heard of people giving up social media for Lent? I have… many times. You never hear that someone gave up the entire internet, though. People not on Facebook can still interact with your website.
Lastly, in an election year, people will just get sick of all the vitriol on Facebook and take a break from it.
If you think you’re saving money by answering the “Facebook page or website” question with only Facebook, you may actually be losing potential income. People not on Facebook will never be exposed to your business.
Facebook recently changed the way they show posts from business pages. As a result, few people see “organic content”. The reason? Facebook wants you to pay for their ads to reach a larger audience. You could post an amazing update and still only reach 3 or 4 people.
4. User Motivation
Why do you get on Facebook? Do you log on for the purpose of buying something? Chances are that you, like most others, are checking Facebook to catch up on what is going on with people. If you happen to see a great deal in your news feed among the jokes and pictures of your friend’s kids, that’s an added bonus, but that’s not the reason you are using social media.
On the other hand, people go to your website for a reason. If they visit, they likely want what you have to offer.
This is another place in which Facebook allows you to have very little control… search engines like Google are less likely to direct people to you if all you have is a Facebook page. Sure, your page may show up in searches if people know your exact business name, but that’s the extent of it. For example, if your business is called “Hulk’s Dry Cleaner” and someone searched for that name word for word, he or she may see your Facebook page. If you want people to find you when they just search the term “Dry Cleaner” and all you have is a Facebook fan page, you’re going to be out of luck. Competitors with dedicated websites will bury you in this area.
Do I have to choose between a Facebook page or website?
Definitely not. The two should go hand in hand and work together to help you meet your goals, but you should certainly be using your Facebook presence to drive traffic to your website. The best marketing strategies marry the two to achieve optimum results.
So keep your social media and website working together, don’t rely only on Facebook for marketing, and keep swimming along!