I hear it regularly from business owners: “I have a Facebook Page for the business but not a website. I think that’s enough right now for my business online.” Well, let me explain why that’s NOT enough.
First of all, only 58% of Americans are even on Facebook, according to a 2015 study . That means your business is missing out on a whopping 42% of the population that your business’s online presence is NOT reaching. That’s quite a significant number of prospects and clients!
Despite more recent studies that show the percentage of Facebook users rising, there are still a significant number of prospects, customers and clients who aren’t on it. Also, many of those who do have Facebook profiles don’t access or update them regularly with new content, or even logon to the platform on a regular basis. They will most certainly NOT be reached by your business posts on Facebook!
Secondly, many Facebook users largely use the social media platform for just that: socially. Communications and outreach from their favorite businesses definitely takes a back seat to personal posts and pictures from their friends, family and coworkers. While Facebook can certainly enhance and support your business website content and communications, it is no substitute for them.
The same 2015 study referenced above also found that Americans are branching out socially while online:
Despite Facebook’s hegemony, Americans are also beginning to branch out. While not giving up their social space on Facebook, they’re supplementing with second and third online hangouts, to reach other specific groups or do other things.
“We found that 52% of online adults were using two or more social media sites, compared to 42% the previous year — so 10% more had adopted another social media platform,” Ellison said.
Among all U.S. adults, 23% use LinkedIn, 22% Pinterest, 21% Instagram and 19% Twitter, the survey found.
A strong and solid model for your business’s online “footprint” should be to use your company’s website as a “home base” and then use the various social and business media accounts of your business as “branches” out from your website to reach more customers, prospects and clients online or, vice-versa, from your social media accounts back to looking at your website. It should be a two-way street with a healthy amount of traffic on both sides of it.
Another way to look at it is to view your company’s website as the source of overall information about your business: name, location, ownership, products or services offered, contact methods, etc. Your business social media channels can then be a way to reach out and broadcast more day-to-day information, or breaking news or promotions, such as a limited-time sale or discounted offer on one of your products.
In any event, a business Facebook Page was never really designed to be a stand-alone presence online for your company. Make sure it operates in conjunction with, and not in place of, a solid, well-designed business website.