This is the six million dollar question and one which many business owners ask. In the social media age when half the planet seems to be on Facebook – you might wonder if having a website is even necessary anymore? Well the short answer is that it is – and here’s why.
Your website adds credibility and serves as a shop window
Having a website makes it easier for people to visit and to check out your products, services and pricing. People often like to window shop first and having a website enables them to do that. It also allows them to find out a bit more about you and your organisation and to get a feel for your brand. Having a website adds credibility and professionalism. By contrast, there’s only so much you can squeeze into the ‘About’ tab on your Facebook page.
Maintaining a website presence is fairly low maintenance
Your website should never be a ‘set and forget’ task but the good news is that once you’ve created it, maintaining it shouldn’t take up too much of your time. Of course you’ll need to edit or update specific pages from time to time. However for the most part, once your website is up and running – it’s fairly straightforward to maintain.
Facebook is a social media platform and requires you to be social
Having a Facebook page doesn’t guarantee you will have customers stampeding to your door. And in fact answering the question of whether your website or Facebook is better for reaching audiences is a complex one. Ultimately Facebook is a social media platform so you need to be prepared to socialise. It’s also the place where you interact with your customers or followers who often want to chip in, provide feedback or ask questions. Doing that takes time, effort and commitment from you. As a business owner you need to think about whether you have the capacity to monitor, manage and respond to queries on your Facebook page.
Facebook is like looking after a hungry pet who always wants feeding
Now, because Facebook is an interactive social platform – you have to have regular morsels of content for your followers to digest. This means regular information posts, stories, pictures, graphics – curated or shared content on relevant subjects. In short you need have a content calendar or timeline for posts at least a few months ahead. Not only that – it shouldn’t just be about self-promotion. Best practice for social media says you should apply the ‘rule of thirds’ with regard to your content. What that means is mix it up a bit. Make one third promotional in nature, one third of original articles (maybe a blog post from your website) and one third an industry expert/leadership view or opinion piece. It goes without saying that the content should tie in with your key messages, mission and organisational objectives Now ask yourself do you have the skill, staff or time to manage all that? If not then having a website is often much less work.
The debate about whether websites or social media are better for building your business will continue to rage – there are benefits and drawbacks to both.
My advice is that ideally you should have both. You need your website to drive traffic to your Facebook and Facebook to drive people back to your website – they’re interrelated. Facebook has also changed it algorithms meaning the days of organic reach are virtually dead – Facebook wants you to book advertising so you pay to get your business offering in front of audiences, which in the past, you may have been able to reach organically – no more my friends.
This is only a brief overview of some of the things you need to consider. If you’d like to learn more or if you need help with your website, Facebook or content for your social media then get in touch.