Is a website or Facebook page better?
Once convinced that companies need to be on the Internet, some ask themselves: "Why do I need a website when I can have a free Facebook Page?"
At the end of the day, a hosting and own domain carry an annual cost (even if it is small).
If you have ever asked yourself this question or have been asked by your clients, I have written this post for you. I will try to present my opinion on the subject taking into account different points of view, but if you want, leave a comment with your perspective. I would love to know different ideas!
Lets start by the beginning…
What advantages do Facebook Pages have over websites?
Among other things, Facebook offers you:
- Free and fast configuration of your page.
- Almost immediate access to a global audience: almost 1 billion people connect to Facebook every day.
- An easy way to upload your content to the network and share it. In addition, you do not have to commit yourself too much: the effort you are going to invest in your Page is your decision and will depend on the objectives you set for yourself.
In comparison, a website is going to need extra effort:
- Maintenance and updating of its contents, with the possible technical difficulties that this entails.
- Greater complexity when more sophisticated are its design and functionality.
- Higher costs, since it will have to be designed, configured and updated.
- Increased marketing effort to attract traffic, which will require a comprehensive marketing strategy.
So, is a Facebook Page better than a website?
If you think that the 1,000 million people who access Facebook every day are a lot, you can not imagine the searches that were carried out in Google at that time. There are about 40,000 searches per second, that is, more than 3,500 million daily searches. And it is only a search engine of the many that exist.
Therefore, I believe that the reach you can achieve with a Facebook Page is significantly less than what you can get from search engine results. Your website is the nerve center of your online presence: where you get information about your visits and clients, where you get benefits and where you concentrate your marketing campaigns.
Because, think about it ...
What is the fundamental difference between Google and Facebook?
I think they are companies with very different objectives:
- Google tries to offer its users an algorithm that places the most relevant content for the search they have carried out at the top of the results.
- Facebook , on the other hand, focuses on relationships between friends, not between customers and companies. It started as a social network for university students, then allowed to create company profiles, and today more people are returning to their origins. Anything that seems like pure advertising, without much value for the user, will have a rather small scope: Facebook is in control and its mission is for users to have a good time when they access the social network, without feeling overwhelmed by too much corporate content.
Of course, content that does have value, such as links to your website or blog, and that is not excessively promotional, should come to fruition (as long as you use the correct formulas ).
To what extent can you personalize your Facebook Page?
Although you can use your brand image in all your posts and creatives and maintain consistency in all your messages, the truth is that your Facebook Page is going to be very similar to any other. You will have great limitations to customize its structure, which is a drawback that you will not have if you create your own website. There you can personalize every last comma to reflect the personality of your brand.
It is not about being unfair. In early September 2015, Facebook released a series of updates to its Pages to give businesses more freedom. New sections were included, a larger call to action button and the possibility of making modifications to the Page through a mobile device was improved. However, I believe that even with these improvements they have not been able to eliminate the need for their own, unique and personalized website. Do you agree?
How much information do you really have about your Facebook followers?
The usual thing is that you have no way of having your contact information, your email or your phone. You will only know his name and you will have his link to his personal profile. In addition, Facebook's analytical tool has improved over the years, but it still doesn't come close to what you can find out about the visits and conversions you receive on your website through tools like Analytics.
Since you are not going to be able to do too much with that information, you will have to rely solely on Facebook's algorithms to deliver your messages to the public that interests you most. If you have your own website, you can maintain an email list, generate a database and sleep much more peacefully knowing that you have all that information available.
Also, keep in mind the true value of the interactions you receive. Likes are pretty straightforward; on the other hand, if someone signs up on your website with their email it is that they really have an interest in what you offer them. The quality of that conversion is worth far more than five Facebook followers who are only mildly interested.
And what if Facebook decides that you are breaking its rules?
Facebook has its own rules for the posts you post, the contests you create, etc. If you breach them, you could lose your Page and all the work invested in it. On your website you can publish the content you need as long as you are within the law.
Google can penalize you if you use SEO techniques "black hat" (that is, if you cheat), but you can always solve that problem and return to your usual position. Getting another opportunity from Facebook can be much more complicated.
How can you make sure who you get your Facebook messages to?
You already know that you can create your advertising campaigns on Facebook and choose the group that you are most interested in reaching. However, it is complicated and some companies do not decide to take the step.
The problem is that, with a standard Facebook Page and without implementing any paid advertising campaign, not all your followers will see all your posts. Not much less . You are going to have to work very hard to reach a large audience.
Do you want your success to depend on a platform completely foreign to your company?
The problem of depending on Facebook for your entire online presence is twofold: you neither have control over the platform nor do you have a simple method of contact with which to solve any problem.
Let me explain: if you have a website, you can hire a company, a freelancer or an employee of your business to program and maintain it. You can give your opinion on the design, content and functions offered by the website. About what is important or what is not. Similarly, if there is a technical problem on the web you can receive help to solve it.
When you don't have a website, but only a Facebook Page, you lack control. You can only adapt to any change or update, whether it suits you or not, since you do not participate in the decisions that are made. You also have no way to contact directly when Facebook goes down or when an update doesn't work as it should.
Is it mandatory to choose between a website or a Facebook page?
Absolutely not. What I am trying to explain is that, in my opinion, a Facebook Page is a good complement to your website, but never a substitute. Marketing on social networks is tremendously useful and in this blog we have already dealt with the subject more than once, for this reason. What I do believe is that it is worth learning about the advantages and disadvantages of a platform that is otherwise tremendously widespread and easy to use.
Build your website and work on its SEO positioning, use Facebook to get followers and more visits to your website, integrate other channels with which to get more traffic and grow your list of subscribers. You can use Google and Facebook ads and a good landing page with an attractive offer.
In short, the best use you can make of Facebook is to make it part of a more complete, multi-channel marketing strategy. Don't choose, match!
There is nothing carved in stone: from here I encourage you to explore what has worked in projects similar to yours. What is better for them? If a brand has an excellent presence on Facebook, how does it do it?
Facebook may be the solution you are looking to get up and running on the Internet while designing your website. You should know that you will lack control over the appearance and structure of your Page and that it will not be easy for you to solve possible problems, but it will be very useful to start showing your brand and connecting with the people you are interested in.
However, if what you are looking for is closer control over your image, your brand, your content and your priorities, I recommend that you use Facebook as part of your strategy, but not as your only tool. How about?