These days, most companies have a website and a Facebook page. From large department stores in New York City to small boutiques in Galway, businesses are finding and interacting more with customers over the internet. While both are important, there are times when it may not seem feasible to maintain two separate points of contact online. When choosing between a website and a Facebook page, consider your businesses individual goals to determine which one is right for your needs.
How Much Control Do You Want?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how much control do you want to have? If you want complete control over everything from background to buttons and navigational components, you’ll want to set up your own website. Then, you can add and delete items as you feel necessary. Customers won’t be able to interact with your site as much as they would a Facebook page, which can be a good thing – particularly if you don’t have time to sort through a lot of comments before they go public.
One thing most businesses don’t like about Facebook is that they have to deal with a third party and a third party’s rules. If you don’t follow the rules of Facebook to the letter, you risk your page being deleted or your account being banned, leaving your customers no way of reaching you. There are also frequent changes made to Facebook, which can leave portions of your business unreachable. For example, restaurants immediately took to the menu option on Facebook, but changes have made portions of menus disappear, leaving customers in the dark about what is offered.
Do You Sell Anything Online?
If you sell anything online, Facebook can’t be your only outlet. There’s no way to really conduct secure sales through Facebook, and automated selling is just not an option. If you rely on the internet to allow customers to make their selections, purchase items, or look up order information, you’ll be better served with an actual website.
How Computer Savvy Are You?
For those that lack the technical skills needed to create a full website, Facebook is an alluring option. The site is easy to use and set up, even for basic computer users. Having a Facebook page rather than a full website means it’s easy to update and nobody needs to hire an IT manager or a web designer to keep things looking good. Don’t forget about SEO – Facebook does the hard work of bringing users to you, while individual website owners will need to find ways to direct targeted traffic to their websites themselves.
Facebook is also a great way to get any company news out to your fans quickly. For example, if you just received a stock of an in-demand item, you can post an update letting customers know the goods have arrived. You’ll see an increase in business by simply letting your loyal customers know what you have on hand.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that most businesses will need both a Facebook page and a website. While both are useful, they operate in different ways and target a different segment of the population. If time is an issue, devote the most resources to creating a dynamic and useful website, rather than increasing your following on Facebook.
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