Some thoughts about having your own website versus just having a business social media pages
It’s quite common when researching a business, that you’ll find they only have a social media page rather than a professional website. Using Facebook as the example, we’ll review some of the benefits of having a website rather than social media alone.
Brand Control & Design
Website: You own your website. It gives you complete control over your entire media brand.
Facebook: With Facebook, you’re dealing with a third-party site. You follow the company’s terms of service, which are continually revised or risk your account being deleted.
Website Design Changes
Website: You have total design control over your website to match your media outlet’s branding goals and colors. Make changes anytime and at your discretion.
Facebook: While you can add your logo and make minor changes in how information appears, you’re still at the mercy of Facebook’s look. When changes are made, you usually only find out after the new design shows up on your Facebook page.
Delivery of Information
Website: It takes effort to get your audience to come to your site for information, and your website has to be successful at getting them to come back. For example, when people want something, they usually look it up on a search engine, so SEO and other website visibility enhancement efforts are important.
Facebook: You are taking your information directly where your audience is spending their time connecting with friends and family, Facebook, Instagram, etc.. Your updates pop into their timelines the second they’re posted, putting your news right in front of thousands of eyes instantly, but only if they have liked or followed your page. Getting new people to see your information requires effort and money, just like getting people to visit your business website.
Website: You, or your staff, has to be trained on how to update your website and, in a breaking news situation, the website can sometimes get neglected. Like anything, without maintenance, care, and feeding, your site’s content will look out of date.
Facebook: Even the technologically challenged know how to post information, photos or videos on Facebook. In a breaking news situation, you can get quick updates out to your audience as you receive them, which helps your media outlet own the story.
Email Subscription vs. Timeline
Website: How your audience gets your information is a little tougher than social media. The easiest way is to offer an email subscription where all of your customers and subscribers can get that quick delivery of your news. The potential drawbacks (depending on what service you use) is that your email newsletter or information can end up in spam or lost in a customer’s super busy inbox.
Facebook: Easily send your content to thousands of people spending time on Facebook. With one easy click, users can get all of your updates, comment on your Facebook page and share your information with their friends and families. The catch is that people still have to find your page in order to click the like/follow button.
Revenue From Your Page
Website: Sell ad space, affiliate offers, products and services, and various other sponsorships on your website to generate revenue. You set your rates and manage ad inventory.
Facebook: You can’t sell ad space on your Facebook page. The revenue opportunities are non-existent.
Statistics on Facebook vs. Your Website
Website: Your website’s statistics are your secret to outside parties. You don’t have to inform your audience how many page views, hits, unique visitors, or sales you have coming on your site each month.
Facebook: Everyone can see how many fans you have or don’t have. As you try to boost your brand using Facebook, you may notice your competitors have thousands of fans while you only have a few hundred.
Website: You can do pretty much anything you want on your own site, such as holding a contest that can drive people to your website. You can sell sponsorships, post rules, call for daily entries and monitor your website analytics to see just how effective each contest is for your media outlet.
Facebook: Holding a contest solely on your Facebook page can drive your fan base and generate buzz as your contest link is passed around to other Facebook users, but you are restricted to Facebook’s promotion guidelines, which always seem to be changing.
Policing User Comments
Website: If you allow comments on the stories you post on your website, you have to decide how you’ll monitor those comments and develop a policy on how to deal with any objectionable material. There are tools that can make it a lot easier, but it can also be time-consuming for you or your staff who may spend a lot of their time policing comments.
Facebook: While you still have to keep an eye out for people who are only visiting your page to cause trouble, Facebook does have an easy system in place to block comments and repeat offenders.
Interaction on Facebook Vs. Your Site
Website: Your website has limited opportunities to interact with your audience, but like everything else, there are tools and technology to easily solve that, but it might involve a small cost.
Facebook: While users can comment on your stories and share them with their friends, Facebook is a place where you often find businesses using social media to interact with their customers. Assuming you have all that interaction, is it actually helping your brand and drive sales? Sure, people can talk all day about your latest post that they saw on your Facebook page, but if all that buzz isn’t driving people to your website, to buy your stuff, is it really helping you at all?
Your own website has Google search on your side. It’s true a Facebook page can be found via a search engine, but you can’t improve how easy it is to you via search engines. This is a super important point. You can’t tailor or target specific keywords on Facebook like you can on your own website.
Showing up higher in the search results is one of the most important factors in getting you more customers, more sales, and a better return on your investment.
There is no substitute for the level of brand control, user personalization, and lead development that can be accomplished through a business website.
While only using Facebook might be a primary effort (social media management, PinPoint Solo, etc.) for certain consumer-based businesses, utilizing both will be the most successful in getting more customers and keeping the ones you already have.