**Affiliate disclosure** Some of the links in this post may result in a small commission to me if you choose to make a purchase. This won't cost you anything additional and I promise I only suggest products I personally think are top-notch.
Here’s Why Facebook Alone Isn’t Going To Grow Your Small Business Like A Professional Website Would
So you’re a new business owner and you’ve set up a Facebook page for your business. You’ve asked all of your friends to like and follow it, awesome! Facebook is a good way to increase your social media presence and build a know-like-trust factor, but guess what? It doesn’t make your business look as professional as you may think.
The reason is because anyone can set up a free account and a free page and claim they have a business where they occasionally update what’s going on in their biz. But your Facebook business page isn’t supposed to be your website. It is supposed to supplement your website. You ever notice the Learn More or Shop Now buttons? That’s called a call to action and Facebook itself states that you need a call to action along with a page name and two pictures to set up a business page. Those call to actions should link to another website that isn’t Facebook.com. Some link to third party e-commerce shops like Etsy. However, when your page links over to your personalized domain name, you automatically look more official, even if your business is just starting out.
I’m not saying your business shouldn’t have a Facebook page, on the contrary! You absolutely should be using this free tool to complement your business’s website. Direct your website visitors to like you on Facebook to stay current and then loop them back to your website once they are followers. What I’m trying to convey is that a Facebook business page doesn’t mean you have a website
What having a website can do that Facebook can’t:
By having a website you immediately establish credibility. Why? Having a custom domain sends the message to your customers that your business is legit. Having a professional-looking website will convince new clients that your business knows what it’s doing without having to do much work. An amateur website or one that was built 5 years ago will display that your business isn’t serious about growing or that you just don’t care. Your website can show off your work, testimonials, a little about, how to contact you, pricing, and anything else you can possibly think of. On a social media site, you’re limited to their design and capabilities. There isn’t room to expand unless they expand functionality to everyone.
Target A Wider Market
Targeting a wider audience is a huge one to me. Let me reel you in with a quick anecdote. After my first son was born, I quit Facebook. I didn’t look back for 4 years, even though Facebook made it apparent that I could sign back in whenever I wanted and I could never really be deleted. However, I still found myself on Facebook from time to time when I would look up a local business who didn’t have a website. Sometimes I would find what I was looking for, like an address or hours of operation. More often, though, they wouldn’t have a phone number or any help at all for me as a new customer. More annoying (and you probably don’t know this if you have an active Facebook account) is that as soon as you open a Facebook page, you are asked to either sign in or sign up for an account. You do have the option of saying no thanks, but then there is a request to have you sign in or sign up at the bottom of the site and it takes up half of the page. Clearly, Facebook wants more Facebook users and they’re not all about building your business, just their own. When you have your own website, you are not limited to the scope of other users on Facebook, but the entire globe who has access to the Internet. That’s billions of more potential clients. And you can focus on building your business, not someone else’s.
Sell Your Items
Yes. you do have the option to sell items on Facebook, but you are confined to their policies and restrictions. This may not be a big deal to many online businesses, but if your business does sell tobacco, for example, you wouldn’t be allowed to sell or advertise on their market. On your own website, you are unrestricted to what your business offers, which is good for you because you wanted to start your own business to be your own boss, right?
Having your own website can actually save you time in the long run. Once it’s set up, you have the choice to make updates and post to a blog to be current, but you don’t need to. Your website should be designed to be your storefront 24/7 and always be available to your customers in a sense. With a FAQ page you don’t have to answer a million questions, or the same question, again and again. You can display pricing and then refer clients to check out your website instead of spending money on other marketing techniques like flyers or brochures. Set it up properly and you can let it run itself for up to a year before it needs to be revised and updated, as technology does tend to change rapidly nowadays.
Personalized and Professional Email
Lastly, one thing having your own domain name provides that a Facebook page does not is your own professional email address. And yes you can purchase an email domain elsewhere, but when you get your domain name hosted you are usually provided with one or multiple free email addresses to further your credibility. Instead of being TarinLaRoux@Yahoo.com, I chose to setup a professional email to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you trust an email from Amazon@Gmail.com advertising special deals? Probably not. But Marketing@Amazon.com would tell you that the email was coming directly from Amazon.com and therefore would be immediately more trustworthy.
Facebook Business Should Supplement Your Business Website, Not Be Your Website.
Now that I’ve reconnected to Facebook to market Tarin La Roux Designs, I’ve come across friends and friends of friends who have small business ventures, but no website. Although it doesn’t always deter me from making a purchase, I would be much more impressed and willing to spread their name around if they had a custom website. So tell me what you think. Would you be more inclined to purchase something from Facebook or from a professional looking website?