Today I want to write a topic I have become very passionate about: Why you need a website and not just a business Facebook page and/or an Instagram account.
First I want to say I really really like Facebook (and Instagram) - personally and as a business! Having lived abroad for a long time and having moved countries I love Facebook to keep in touch with friends all over the world. And don’t we all love to be reminded of our friends birthdays? Or getting messages on our own birthdays? I think Facebook is a fantastic social network and I just want to make that clear before I go into details why a business Facebook page is not enough and you need a website for your business as well.
I get it, setting up a Facebook business page takes about 10 minutes and it is for free! It is super easy as most of us have used Facebook privately for a long time. Setting up a website takes hours of researching and planning, then probably a little overwhelm with all the new words and all the possibilities that are out there. And it costs money. It depends on your provider how much but I won’t hide it, of course it costs money. You might decide you want to do it yourself or with your cousins help and that will take forever and a lot of help from YouTube. Or you decide to hire a designer or developer and that costs a lot of money and you don’t know if the person you hired is any good. I totally, totally understand that! I’ve been there myself!
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However if you are serious about your business, there is no way around it: you need a website and not just a social media account. And below I’ve listed 5 reasons why:
1. Facebook and Instagram are social media networks
The mission statement of Facebook is: Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Like I said above that is exactly why I love Facebook.
And that is also why I think it is great to have a Facebook page for your business. Use this page to share information about your business, your product, your service. Use it to post tutorials, your opinions and tips, all related to your business. Use it by giving value to your followers. And essentially use it as a marketing tool. And with every marketing tool you want to direct people to your business. This can be a store and an office or your virtual office and store - your website!
Give people the opportunity to click through from Facebook to your website. Otherwise they will stay on Facebook and read about something else and forget about your page.
2. Your website is your own
Your facebook page belongs to Facebook. If Mark Zuckerberg decides tomorrow to close down Facebook, your site will be gone. Ok I don’t think, nor hope, that will happen but I want to mention it.
Your website is really yours and it is only for your business and not many others as well.
Consider your website your virtual office. This is where you can personally meet and greet people. You can make a great first impression and personally introduce your business and yourself the way you want to. With your own branding and so many nice website design tools you can make it look totally unique and just like you - which you can’t on Facebook.This is where you can really showcase your products and services, your prices, reviews and of course your contact information.
3. You will look more legitimate and professional
As I said consider your website your digital storefront or office. And you prefer to buy from a proper store or do business with someone who has an office. Do you like buying from someone out of the trunk of the car? You have probably done that but it was not the same as buying from a store. It was not as professional. When I moved to Dubai I did it quite a lot, it was quite normal here. However as soon as I realized that there was a store or an online shop for the same product I switched and bought there. It never felt very professional to me and I was never sure if that “business” would be there the next time I wanted to buy from them.
The same applies to telling people about your business. It does not sound very professional when you have to say “you can search for my business on Facebook.” What is professional is when you hand over a business card with a website address on there as well as your social media links and a professional email address. Then the person you met can easily find out again on the web to get some more information, buy from you or just contact you again.
4. Facebook page are not made to sell
...and the same applies to Instagram. I have been given Facebook pages names or Instagram names when I was interested in buying from someone. I was told that there are more images of the product and I can decide which item I want to buy. To tell you the truth so far I have NEVER bought a product from Facebook or Instagram alone. There was always more to it. And I know that is the same for most other people.
I just don’t get enough information about the product. The images are often blurry and not the correct angle, there is often no price or no description. I want to find out about the market on social media and learn about cool new things and then I will either go to their website or store to see the product and make a buying decision.
Oh and I forgot to mention that I have to scroll (sometimes for quite some time) through the images in order to get to the product I want to see and learn more about. On Instagram this might be relatively easy, but then there is often no proper product information but on Facebook this is even more difficult and there are a lot of distracting things going on on the side ;-) So it is very easy for me to lose interest and go somewhere else.
5. You will not rank high in search engines
In order to rank high organically in search engines you need to have your own website. This is a fact. And a great way to get new customers is exactly that. Optimize your website for search engines AND have a presence on social media and you will optimize the number of new visitors you are getting.
If you are visiting a new city you will most likely not go on Facebook to learn about the best restaurant, you will turn to Google to search for the restaurant in your area serving the food you would like to eat today.
And that is the same with any other business, your reach by just being on Facebook is limited.
If you have a Squarespace website, click here to find out more how to optimize your website for SEO.
I hope this gave you a better understanding why you really need a website AND a business Facebook or Instagram page. Social media is a fantastic tool to create awareness and to help with digital marketing but it is essentially there to HELP DRIVE TRAFFIC TO your website - your virtual store and office. As this image shows :-)
Let me know if you have any questions, I always love to hear from you!
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