As most folks know, whether they’re on social media or not, on October 4th, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all out of commission for 6 hours, which felt like an eternity for my teenage daughter but had me half wishing for simpler times when social media didn’t exist.
If your business’ portal to the people is only on these platforms, you were left high and dry until Facebook fixed the issue. Social media is what’s called non-owned media vs. owned media in digital marketing.
Owned media is media you create and control. Much like building your own home, you have control over what goes in and how you want to manage and decorate it. You can paint the walls Broncos orange if that’s your thing rather than living with plain white walls. Examples of owned media are:
- Your website.
- Emails and subscribers.
- Blog posts.
- Videos or webinars.
- Landing pages hosted on your site.
Non-owned media is much like a rental property. You have to abide by the landlord’s rules, what paint you can put up, when you pay rent, and more. Facebook, Instagram, and every form of social media fall into this category.
Even with a simple one-page or more complex website with a store or blog, you reap the benefits and are in control of your online presence.
So let’s dive into the benefits of why you should have a website for your business and not just a Facebook page.
You Control Your Branding.
Even though Facebook may be easier and cheaper to maintain in the short-run long term, you give up input on the look and feel and what content is a priority. Facebook’s template is pre-defined. A website can be tailored to fit your specific business needs. The only thing you can personalize is your profile photo, banner, and post graphics. You can’t change the fonts or layout. With your website, you get to choose your look and feel, your branding, in other words. You’re in control of the impression you want to give your audience when they visit your site for the first time, and you make them feel.
A Website Establishes Your Business Credibility.
I overhead in a Zoom meeting the other day — “If a company doesn’t have a website, do they even exist?” Harsh, maybe, but think about it. With all the phishing scams and fake news, it’s getting harder and harder to discern the snake oil salesman from the legit businesses. Whether a simple one-page or a more complex site with a blog or store, having a website shows the world you’re a professional, and you mean business. It also communicates to them what problem you solve, and it’s a great way to build trust.
You Don’t Make the Rules.
Facebook is constantly evolving to do what’s best for Facebook, not your business. In 2018, they announced they’d be focusing more on social connections and showing fewer ads and businesses. Terms and conditions are updated multiple times a year, and if something changes you disagree with, you have to go along with it. What if they decide one day they’re going to close down the business pages? All those customer and client relationships you’ve fostered over the years go the way of the dodo.
Not Everyone is on Facebook or Instagram
Although it seems everyone and their grandma have a Facebook account at times, young Millenials and GenZ’s first choice for social media isn’t Facebook. It’s Tik Tok, YouTube, and Snapchat.
And according to a Pew Research Center article in April 2021, “7 in 10 Americans say they never use any social media site.” That means if you don’t have a website or email newsletter, you’re missing out on 70% of Americans and potential customers. Yikes!
Social Media Should Drive Your Audience to Your Website
By all means, you should keep your social media presence alive and well but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Your social media channels should drive customers to your site, promote your owned-media content such as blog posts, products, a list of services, and learn more about why your company is so excellent. Once a visitor is on your site, you can influence what they see, focus their attention, and convert them more easily into customers.
Google & SEO
When you search for a new business, most people will google it. They don’t go search for it on Facebook. And unless they know the name of your product, nonprofit, or brand, they probably won’t look for you directly on Facebook.
Search engines do index Facebook pages, but again, on your website, you’re in control of your keyword optimization and setting a specific set of relevant keywords to your business. And you’re not beholden to some constant fluctuation algorithm. Having a website makes it easier for your audience to find you online.
What Technical Support?
That outage we all experienced the other day, you can’t call someone up to help you fix it. You have to sit and wait and hope that it all comes back online as soon as possible while you miss out on customer questions, sales, and more.
Are you still wondering if you need a website?
Our goal with this piece is to help you understand the difference between what a Facebook page and a website can accomplish for your business. And although social media is essential to your marketing strategy and an excellent tool for reaching your audience, it shouldn’t replace your business’ website.
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