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I’m on Facebook! Why would I need a website?

It’s a good question and one I hear often. And to be honest over the years I have probably waffled more on this then actually eaten my favorite breakfast choice. That said I think the answer becomes clear when one looks at what each is designed to do.

Who doesn’t like free and easy? What’s not to like about creating a facebook business page. Armed with a few images, some catchy phrases, a meme here a meme there. Inside of an hour, I am up and running awaiting my first like. With the push of a button, I can promote my posts for a low cost targeting news feeds of people looking to connect with my business. I mean it is the largest network in the world! 2.35 billion monthly active users (Q3 2018). Over 60 million business pages as of June 1, 2019. (Source BrandWatch)

Facebook is designed to connect. Connect families, friends, those of like mind and in turn business. However, beginning in 2018 Facebook began a course change that may affect business engagement. On his own blog post Mark Zuckerberg wrote “At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.” More on that in a bit.

In contrast a business website. I have to build out my site or pay someone to do so. I have to pay for somewhere to host it, someone to maintain it. Decide on how it looks and fill it with content. I have to or find someone to market it and ways to bring more people in. Even when I use a template so many choices! Oh, when will it end? I do have a business to run. To truly take advantage of Google’s search engine I have to Search Engine Optimize (SEO) and in today’s mobile world I need to Voice Search Optimize and yes, by the way, will the site even look good on a mobile device? What #hashtags will I use and what exactly are #hashtags?

A business website is designed for control. You build it. You pay for it. You control it. And herein lies the rub…You Own It! With Ownership, you are not at mercy of another business’s decisions, direction or mission. Put simply if I place my product in another business’s brick and mortar shelves how much control will I really have in where it is placed or when it might be replaced. Your business website is the digital equivalent of your brick and mortar. It should serve as your central hub of all things digital including your social media.

The good news is that the barriers to creating a website have significantly lowered through the years. Creating a simple web site DIY with templates although a bit more complicated than a Facebook page are not out of reach for most. In fact, the most successful websites are not the ones costing thousands of dollars, they are the ones with pertinent, up to date content. Those that drive interested parties to sign up on email lists through a subject-specific blog or video engagement. Those that strike a balance between all of their social media applications. And if it seems too much to build out yourself, the costs of having a website designed, hosted and even maintained with ghostwritten articles and video on your particular business subject are quite economical.

At the end of the day, it all really comes down to ownership and control. Social media changes may not happen quickly but they are anchored in trends and decisions most of us have no control of. Young adults, at least in technology, tend to be early adopters but as soon as the parents and grandparents are giving thumbs up on Facebook you can be sure they are exploring places like Instagram and TikTok as a place to call their own. Fortunately, with a business website, you will be able to control the on-ramps from social media to your digital hub.

Article by: Frank Moody