A couple of questions we are asked very often are:
“Why do I need a website when I have a Facebook Page for my business?” or “Do people even use websites anymore?”
The short answer is “You need both” and “Yes“.
Facebook and websites are both widely used. Many people like to go from a Facebook page to a website and vice versa. A website is useful for brand awareness and legitimacy whereas Facebook is useful to show you are current, active & to engage with existing and potential customers on a daily basis …offering anything from information, offers and support. Also, your Facebook business page can be integrated into your website so people can move back and forth between the two.
Facebook pages are free & can be set up in a matter of minutes. That said, they can also be closed in a matter of minutes too. This can greatly effect trust between the business and potential customers. That is why it makes good sense to have a website as well as a social media presence.
A website shows credibility, increasing the trust between your business and your customers. Your business website is your storefront on the World Wide Web and Facebook or any other social media presence is like your advertising flyer or stall setup, used to drive potential customers to your (online) store.
Even if you don’t sell products or services directly online, a website can still convert to sales at your physical premises. Many people browse online before they even leave the house …and where are most searches carried out? – Google Search. When they find you online, they then hit the pavement. So, you could actually lose a customer to a competitor before the customer even leaves their house.
Imagine …if a potential customer does a google search [with keywords that match your business] and the search results show your competitor(s) website and social media page(s) and you only have a Facebook page, they are most likely going to buy from your competitor online or head to their physical premises. The more platforms you have online, the more you are increasing your chance to be found, be interesting and be appealing to potential customers.
With so much content out there for us all to consume in our daily lives, it has never been more important to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways to do that, depending on the type of market you are in, but having a bespoke website designed to match your branding and a social media presence to compliment your website, is certainly a good starting point.
People not only decide where to shop when they find a website online, the appearance & ease of use also influences a potential customers decision. So, if you do have a website or are planning to get one, ensure your website is designed and developed with your customer in mind. Strong, consistent branding, aesthetically appealing & it works (links work, forms work etc…), are just some of the points to consider. We will have an upcoming blog post ‘Web Design Good Practices‘.
Facebook and other social media are limited and you can’t actually design your page to be different to others. The only difference you can make is re-arrange tabs & create more engaging posts than your competitors and change your page colours in Twitter. Also, not all the tabs on Facebook can be viewable on a mobile. Say for instance, you are a restaurant. If you create a menu tab and type up your menu, you will want all your visitors to be able to see your menu on your page whether they are on a mobile or a desktop. This tab is only visible on a desktop & not on the Facebook mobile app. This is also the case with a newsletter signup form and you can’t provide PDF documents or e-books for download on social media.
Over half of internet users are browsing on mobile devices over desktop computers and laptops. Don’t be bound by social media limitations for your content and utilize websites to give your customers a better experience by providing more content & features.
A website, is feature-rich & has virtually no restrictions. You can showcase a beautiful menu, offer your visitors a booking or contact form, newsletter signup, PDF file downloads, purchasing online and so much more. Websites are not just websites anymore, they are Content Management Systems (CMS). As the name suggests, a CMS does exactly what it says on the tin …it manages all your content & social media links, in one easy to find place… Google Search Results. The annual cost of a website is small, particularly considering how feature-rich and useful websites are compared to Facebook and Facebook is free, so why not use both. You are sure to get a Return On Investment (ROI) with a full online presence. Just think of all the potential customers that are looking for you on Google now. If you’re not there, you can’t be found.
Here is a table highlighting some of the differences to show the reasons we would recommend both Facebook & a website:
Facebook search is not as popular as Google
Google Search is still the most popular Search Engine for internet users
Facebook is part of our everyday lives therefore, it is the prime platform for daily interaction with fans
Websites are useful to provide additional features & information however, daily interaction with followers is best on Social Media platforms
|Limited information, in particular on Facebook mobile||No limit to the amount or type of information you can provide to your users|
|Ability to tag people and share posts
Followers can turn on notifications for your business page
|Push Notifications can be added to websites|
|Can only provide links in the news feed or one link (usually to your website) in the about section||Links to useful content can be shown on your homepage and every other page of your website such as in the header and footer area|
|All information scrolls down your news feed so old posts most likely won’t be seen again. Facebook users don’t scroll much and as time goes on it might become too much for you to scroll too.||You can structure your website and organise your content so it is easy to find by you and most importantly, your visitors. Never lose content again.|
|Approximately only 4.5% of followers actually see your posts and this is already reducing due to Facebook 2018 Changes||With email newsletters you can potentially reach 100% of your customers – also this can be advertised on Facebook to ensure you get all or most of your Facebook followers on your email list|
|Limited features – posts, photos, videos||Feature rich – posts, photos, videos, email sign-up forms, any other sign-up forms, contact forms, your own custom design to suit your brand|
|Followers cannot search within your page for keywords of information they are looking for||You can include a search box in your website for users to find information using specific keywords|
|Posts on Facebook will only reach your followers on Facebook (a small percentage of them)||You can connect your website to Facebook so that when you post on your website it will automatically show on Facebook too|
|Generic look||Unique look|