By the end of 2007 Facebook acknowledged that businesses were signing up to interact with other Facebook users by implementing Facebook Business Pages. This is a free feature for people who have a personal account and allows you to make a separate page for your company. This is great in that people who are not directly friends with you can like and follow your business page. The best part is that the whole process is designed to be super easy and it only takes a few clicks and some prompts before your page is up and running.
This low barrier to entry however opens up the flood gates allowing anyone to set up a page and think the work is done. As of June 2019 There are over 60 million active business Pages. Ranging from corporate behemoths to your local barber shop, although only 10 per cent of those claim to be active advertisers on Facebook. Facebook gives priority to content created on the platform itself compared to posts with links directing users away from the social network.
All Facebook business pages look the same. This makes it easier for Facebook users as they are familiar with the layout and don't need to figure out how to navigate each new business page. As nice as this is for users it does not allow you as a business owner to customize the layout, font usage, colours etc. A website can allow you to differentiate yourself from the masses.
A well designed website will make your business credible and appear trustworthy. It allows you to guide the visitor through your content channels on your site. From the landing page of your website where you can customize and deliver the exact message in the way you want through to the “Contact Us”page, each section offers an opportunity to help visitors to your site see what is on offer and show that your business can resolve any issues they have come to find a solution for. You have the added advantage of holding that person's complete attention whilst on your site as you determine what they see. That can be a boon when dealing with decision makers or influencers in the B2B market. By providing the information readily at their disposal you can prove that your solution will work and be a better fit for them.
With advanced analytics as a site owner you can see where the majority of your users are coming from. Which pages are performing better than others and how you can adapt the under performing content on your site. By staying updated on what is happening on your website you will be in a better position to resolve any issues quickly and make more informed decisions.
Don't get me wrong you still need social media pages for your company but given the evidence I don't think they can replace what a website can do for your small business. Any additional social media page should be created and maintained on how your current users interact with your brand as well as how potential customers are finding you. A website makes your business legitimate it's similar to having a fax line in the past. Having both a website and social media presence shows you are committed to growing the business and improves customer service and feedback. The ease with which people can leave reviews also means you will need to be on the ball. Many business owners are afraid of negative reviews, what they should be concerned about is how they respond.