If you are just starting your own business and have a limited marketing budget, you are most likely looking for a way to create an online presence affordably. With financial and time constraints that are typical for new businesses, it is reasonable to assume that some business owners rely on Facebook to serve as a digital face of their business.
Facebook has its advantages that a business owner can capitalize on, as well as limitations that you need to be aware of. Let’s look into both pros and cons of using Facebook business page as your website.
1. Financial investment.
PROS: if you don’t plan to pay for ads or hire a social media manager, there is no cost associated with having a business page on Facebook which is a major factor if you are starting out with a very limited budget.
CONS: due to the Facebook ever-changing algorithm, the people who will see your business page content will not always be the ones who qualify as potential customers. A person needs to be consistently engaging with your page in order to be able to see your posts. In reality, few people will continue visiting your page consistently. Engaging a wider audience will require investing in ads and promotions. To keep up with this activity you will most likely have to hire a social media manager as it is quite time consuming, and the time spent on Facebook is the time not spent on providing services to your customers.
2. Setting up.
PROS: Facebook has several templates available for different types of businesses. Filling in the fields for your services, location and business hours, and uploading your images will take an hour or two. To have it properly optimized and working to a full potential you may have to spend more time because Facebook is not always intuitive to use, but you do not need to know any code or other techy stuff.
CONS: You will be able to upload a custom image to your header, add a logo, and choose a template best suited for your type of business, but you are not getting any additional branding and functionality options. The content you publish must comply with the guidelines established by Facebook. This makes it harder to stand out among the competition and reach your specific business goals.
3. SEO and ranking.
PROS: Facebook is the largest social media network. With 1.4 billion daily active users it has a vast audience and potential customer pool for your website.
CONS: When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) the more traffic you have to the site, and the more engaged your visitors are, the higher your site will rank online. However, out of the billions of users of Facebook only a fraction will visit your page consistently, and even fewer will represent your ideal potential client. Additionally, Facebook doesn’t provide any tools to control and improve your site’s searchability, like keyword optimization, as you would be able to do with a dedicated business website. Facebook pages do not get high ranking from Google.
When a potential customer lands on your page, they more often than not, are looking for more information on your company and your offering. A dedicated website serves as a comprehensive online hub representing who you are and how you can be helpful to the website visitor.
Facebooks features are based on what’s best for their own business growth. With comprehensive branding and functionality, a well-designed business website will have a high ROI and will allow you to fully control YOUR online marketing efforts, instead of promote those of Facebook.
When it comes to online marketing for small business, a multi-channel approach works best and Facebook is a useful tool in your marketing arsenal but it should be used IN ADDITION to your well-built, informative website and not in lieu of it.