Facebook vs. Website: Which Should You Use?

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Small business owner looking at her website on a phone

Establishing a digital presence is important for businesses of all sizes. A Facebook page and a business website are two key platforms that many companies use. Each has its advantages — and disadvantages too.

So which one is better?

Keep in mind that a Facebook page and a website can work together to help accelerate your marketing efforts. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each platform, and when one might be better to use than the other.

Is It Better to Have a Facebook Page or a Website for Your Business?

In general, a professional-looking website is an important asset for all businesses. It helps to establish your company as legitimate and will serve as the base for your digital presence online. That said, businesses that may not need much of a digital presence may look to social media to establish themselves online.

Whether you can use a Facebook page instead of a website depends on many factors. Consider your business goals. Do you want to build brand awareness rapidly or are you aiming for long-term customer engagement and brand loyalty?

Your target audience is also important. Think about the people you want to reach and where they spend their time online. The resources you have available also play a role. What kind of time and money do you have to dedicate to building an online presence?

Facebook Pros and Cons

Pros

Easier and cheaper. Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms and most people are familiar with how it works. Because of this, it’s often easier to get a Facebook business page set up than it is to build a website. Facebook is also free, whereas building and maintaining a website will generally have some associated costs.

Bigger audience. There are roughly three billion monthly active Facebook users. . This gives small businesses the opportunity to reach a large and diverse audience, which can help with brand exposure and customer engagement. Keep in mind that billions of users doesn’t mean you’ll appear in billions of peoples’ newsfeeds. You’ll need to work on a content marketing plan to ensure the algorithm gets you to the right audience.

Built-in tools. Facebook provides many integrated tools for business users. This includes things like analytics to track engagement and performance and advertising options to help you reach more of your target audience. You can also use Facebook Messenger and the comments section to directly interact with your customers. These tools are designed to be user-friendly, even for those without a lot of tech experience.

Cons

Lack of control. When you depend on a big company to be your main platform you have two problems — lack of control and lack of accessibility. When you have your own website, you have complete control over the appearance, content and features. When you have a problem, you can get the firm, freelancer or employee you pay to maintain the site to help you solve the problem. Depending on Facebook means you don’t have any input on the updates or improvements, and you’re subject to any algorithm or policy changes.

Intense competition. 93% of small businesses use Facebook as a marketing tool. This means you’re competing with a lot of others for attention on the platform. This fierce competition and Facebook’s algorithm changes can reduce the visibility of your posts. This means you may need to constantly adapt your social media marketing strategy and invest in paid advertising to ensure you’re being seen.

Limited customization and branding. While you can customize your profile photo, cover photo, your details and of course the content you share, that’s about the extent of branding and personalization you can do on a Facebook business page. Your business branding will be second to Facebook’s; and your content, including offers, promotions and updates will have to stay within the guidelines established by Facebook.

Website Pros and Cons

Pros

Complete control. When you build your own professional website, you get complete control over the functionality, web design and content. You can use plugins and other tools to allow potential customers to book appointments, get help from chatbots and shop your e-commerce store. This allows you to create the user experience you want for your customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When you have a company website, you’re able to take full advantage of SEO. By optimizing your web pages you can enhance your business’s visibility in the search results. This improves your organic reach and can increase the number of people coming to your website’s landing pages through search instead of through a paid marketing campaign. Good SEO practices involve things like using the right keywords and creating high-quality helpful content.

Professionalism. Having a well-designed and user-friendly website can increase your business’s perceived credibility and professionalism. It’s important to have a good website because your website is often a potential client’s first impression of your business. A website also allows you to more effectively engage in different marketing strategies like social media or email marketing because the call-to-action can lead directly to your site. You can also highlight things like customer reviews and provide details about your products and services.

Cons

Cost and maintenance. Building and maintaining a website will come with certain costs. There are things you’ll need to pay for to get started, such as your web-hosting service, domain name and someone to build your site — but there are ongoing fees as well. This can include security updates, platform subscription and domain renewal.

Complexity. The Facebook platform is designed to be easy to use, even for those who don’t have a lot of technical experience. A website, on the other hand, is a bit more complex. You’ll need to focus on things like site navigation, being mobile-friendly, ensuring that it meets accessibility standards, and much more. This is why many small businesses find it beneficial to hire someone to build and maintain their site.

Slower audience building. Building an audience for a new website can take time and effort. Unlike Facebook where you can quickly connect with your social network, building a website’s audience requires new strategies like content and email marketing, SEO and potentially online advertising.

Facebook vs. Website: How to Choose

Choosing between a Facebook page and a website will depend on your specific business needs. If you want a cheap, easy-to-use platform with a large audience, Facebook may be a good option.

However, if you want more control over your brand and your online presence and you have the time and money to build, maintain and invest in marketing, a website may be a better choice.

Think about your target audience as well. Facebook does have a lot of active users, but it’s not always the best option for every target audience. For example, if you’re targeting a highly professional demographic, you may want to consider creating a website or even a LinkedIn page.

Can Facebook Replace a Website?

Facebook is a great tool, but it won’t completely replace a professional website. A website allows you more control and specific benefits like SEO that Facebook doesn’t. A website also gives your business more legitimacy.

However, you should keep in mind that Facebook and a professional website can work together to make your marketing efforts more successful than if you used either on their own. You can connect with a big audience on Facebook and use your content to direct them to your website, where they can learn more about your business and maybe become your next new customer.

This content is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as financial, investment or legal advice.