Why a Facebook Page is Not Enough for Your Small Business

Facebook can be a great tool for your business. It allows you to network, reach out to your audience, get feedback from your customers, and best of all, it's free.

You should be using Facebook to reach people, but you shouldn't rely on Facebook as the internet home for your business.

We want to chat a bit about the differences between your website and your social media activity.

Your main web presence should focus on your business only

While Facebook can be a great tool, and your business can benefit from using it wisely, if it's the only online presence you have, you may give customers the impression that you aren't serious about your business. Because you're serious about your business, you shouldn't be only using free options for your website. Generally speaking, free options tend to be limited in various capacities.

A smart business owner has a website that stands out, looks professional, and can be updated easily.

Facebook pages have limitations. While you can control a few aspects of your page, the overall look and feel of your page will always be second to Facebook's brand. You can't strongly make your business page look different from all the other business pages. If you want to add a new section to share information about your team or your services, you're very limited as to how it looks and how it works. These limitations can severely cripple your ability to control what customers see and how they interact with your web presence.

On your website, your brand, logo, and message are the only things present. You're not sharing space with anyone else's brand or message.

You get to focus solely on communicating your services and other important information to customers. With a really great set of website tools, you can incorporate your Facebook (and other social media) activity into your website.

Social media pages and websites have different goals

Social media is pretty great—be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever your favorite service is. It can be informative, fun, and even quite addictive. Interacting with and staying connected with people is awesome. But it's a very different thing from a website. They're different mediums, with different purposes and goals. Social media sites like Facebook are all about creating a sense of connection, involvement, and engagement among people. They're all built around a pretty standard human need for connection and socializing.

Your website is there to give people a way to learn more about you and you alone—your services, your skills, the results of your work—and sell them on the value you provide when you take care of a problem they have. It's both an image and a marketing tool.

Think about your favorite car company. You don't go to their Facebook page when you want to check out all the pictures, videos, and features/specs of that new car you want to buy. Facebook would be the worst place to go for that purpose. But you would probably look up the company on Facebook if you wanted to tell them how excited you are for that new car to come out.

Try to think about your online presence in terms of your goals. Are your goals to help engage and communicate more personally with your customers? Sounds like Facebook territory. Are you looking to feature your brand and logo, and tell people all about the great service you provide and the problems you can solve for them? That's website territory.

Another thing to consider is how people find your business online. If you're providing house cleaning services in Spokane, and someone in Spokane searches on Google for a house cleaner, you want Google to point them to your business website, where you can be sure your services and contact information are front-and-center, and easy to find.

Your business interests are not Facebook's interests

Offering you a free page is there to serve Facebook's business interests, not yours. Your Facebook page looks just like a lot of your competitors' pages, except maybe for a different header image or logo-as-profile-picture. That's not what you ultimately want or need to present a professional online image for your business. But it is what Facebook wants and needs, because they want all pages to look nearly identical so their users instantly recognize they're on a Facebook page and, without having to think about, know how to interact with it.

Now, if you keep that in mind, there's still some good value you can get out of it. Facebook wants people to find your page as a means of wanting to keep people active on the platform. You can use this to your advantage in some ways—think of Facebook as a platform you use to share things like deals, discounts, new services, jobs well done, and more. You're engaging the community around you (at least those who are on Facebook), and using the tools Facebook offers to reach your own goals.

Not everyone is on Facebook

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who aren't on Facebook. For these potential customers, it's often very difficult to even convince them to take a business with a Facebook page seriously. And that's if they can even view your Facebook business page.

Facebook pages are often only visible to logged-in Facebook users. That means your page and your message can be hidden from anyone who isn't actively using Facebook.

You could ignore those people, but you shouldn't. If we've learned one thing from slowly becoming an internet culture, it's that "social networks" come and go. It wasn't that long ago that everyone was using Myspace.

Even though Facebook could be around for a long time to come, your website should be around longer.

Use the right tool for the job, just like you do for your actual jobs

Your website should be the authoritative source on your business and its services.

Adding a new service for the winter season? Add it your website first, then promote it on Facebook.

Dropping a set of services that are infrequently used by customers because they don't make much business sense anymore? They should be dropped from your website, and nobody on Facebook probably cares to read about it.

Running a special discount for the summer, and want to get the word out? First add a page or notice to your site that features the discount and any relevant information, then add a Facebook post telling people about the new special—and point them to your website to learn more.

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