If you go through the local online business directories, you will notice that many businesses don’t have an active website – in fact, most of them still use the free gmail accounts for their primary email communication needs.
Interestingly through, most of them are very active on Social Media – especially Facebook. Some of them have grown their Facebook pages to tens of thousands of fans, yet they don’t have an active website.
So, can a Facebook page really replace your Website?
I don’t think any business should only build their online awareness on Facebook and completely ignore the need for a website.
In the long run, you will still need to have a website – and here is why:
When you have a website, you have complete ownership over it.
You get to decide what to put on your website, how you want it displayed, what your terms of service are and the type of interactions you want to have with your customers. On Facebook and other social media platforms, you’re essentially leasing space on their platform. You’re constrained by their layout, their terms of service and their features in how you represent your business.
What happens when these social media platforms drop in popularity or go out of business, like what happened with MySpace?
When you’ve built your own website, no one can take it away from you.
Despite having many users, not everyone is on Facebook. Currently, Facebook has around 8 million active users in Kenya – while more than 20 million Kenyans regularly access the internet. By relying on Facebook alone, you will be missing out on a big part of your target audience, especially if Facebook is not popular among your target audience.
When your business is still small, you may not appreciate the importance of data and analysis of them. But as you scale, it becomes apparent.
Your website analytics can tell you a wealth of information about your customers, the pages they visit, how long they spend, what page they go to next on your site, where they’re located, the kind of content that they resonate with, and so much more.
Facebook shows you how many people like your page or your post, among other primary metrics – but you cannot use them out of Facebook.
It’s simply too limited and proprietary to establish the trust and credibility inferred by a dedicated website; and despite search engines, like Google, prominently displaying Facebook pages in their listings, a standalone website has far more scope for performing strongly in the search engine results.
That, however, doesn’t mean that your Facebook page is worthless. Having a presence on the world’s most popular social media site still provides a significant source of social media traffic and activity.